Mar 15, 2013

Getting Them Ready For A Mission.

I am currently in the process of getting Miriam, the third Baird child, ready to go on a mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She is heading to the Missionary Training Center on April 10th and then on to the Philippines in June. I feel like I should do some documenting of this process so that all of you that have teeny tiny kids that you can not imagine ever being nineteen can start getting them ready now :) Seriously, go buy some suitcases now and keep that birth certificate with you at all times :) Tattoo their immunizations on them :) And yes, they will have to have their wisdom teeth out :) Save lots of money :) Have them save lots of money :) And have your cat save lots of money :) A mission is $400.00 a month these days.

The first Baird child to go on a mission was Zach and he went to Estonia. He was at BYU in Utah when he received his mission call and he attended school clear up until the day before he went into the missionary training center. I was in Massachusetts while he was in Utah. Thankfully my dear friend Kathy helped me make lists and organize everything. I flew to Utah once to help him purchase some things and procure a Utah drivers licence. But most of the purchasing of suits, white shirts, ties, socks, and good shoes all happened long distance. Zach needed things for a cold, snowy climate that he would be walking in....a lot.

Madeline was the second Baird child to go on a mission and she is currently in El Salvador. Getting a girl ready for a mission was much more complicated than getting a boy ready. White shirts, ties and suits are so straight forward. Choosing skirts, dresses, shoes, tights, and accessories was definitely harder. Thankfully with Madeline my sister Sarah got involved and she perused the thrift stores in Georgia ( no not all of Georgia just the area around Milton :) and found a ton of very cute skirts and shirts. Madeline was at home in Massachusetts before her mission and that made things much easier. She needed things for a hot, humid climate with a rainy season. So no coat and shoes that water could easily flow through :)

 You see when they get their mission call in the mail it comes with a 40 page book listing all the things they have to get done before they go and all the things they need to take with them. They have to get visas, passports, sometimes special letters from the police department vouching for their goodness, and all sorts of immunizations depending on where they go. Before they even put in their papers to go on a mission they have to have their wisdom teeth out, see the optometrist, the dentist, the doctor, find their birth certificate :),get interviews and all sorts of fun. To add to all the fun I have had children who do not really want my help getting ready. They want to pay for it all themselves, they want to do it all themselves. And then my favorite part is that they think they do not need everything on the list that has been lovingly prepared and sent to them. That part is hard for me. I imagine a group of people who really know all about these countries where they are sending these kids sitting in a room ever so carefully making lists of what they will need to be comfortable and happy for 18 months to two years in their mission.How can you not obey the list when you have that picture in your mind? :) I figure if they went to the work to make this list I should go to the work to fulfill it :) But my kids think the lists are just guidelines :) And they may be right :)

I joined missionary mom lists on line to try to determine how accurate the lists were and what other moms bought for their kids and did to get their kids ready to go. The missionary mom list for Zach's mission was very helpful but Madeline and Miriam's lists have hardly any moms posting on them. Which is okay, I am figuring it all out :)

My kids have gone places on their missions where it is not easy to send them things they may realize they need once they get there which is why I get my panties in a bunch occasionally when they are ignoring lists :)
So far they have ended up surviving just fine so I do my best to remind myself of that and let it all go. But I am hoping it is normal for a mom to want to play "can I help you get ready to leave home to spend 18 months to two years in a foreign country" :) I know, I should be grateful they are independent :)

So when all that is said and done I have to tell you Miriam and I finally went shopping last Saturday and she was awesome. She went in more than one store. She tried on oh so many outfits. She was cheerful through it all even though I know she hated every single minute of it.

 Wish me luck because in April Amanda, Baird child number 4, is putting in her papers for her mission and then I will be shopping once again with a Baird child for a mission :) Which reminds me I should find her birth certificate now :)


Camie said...

Hi Jen! I'm so happy that you are blogging again! I can't believe you are sending out your 4th missionary!! Will your three girls all be out at the same time?

Nichole Roskelley said...

Makes me laugh. I just love the Baird family!