Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day 2012 with Elder Jepsen

We were blessed to visit with our Elder Jepsen online from Moses Lake, Washington on Mother's Day. Visiting our second son and his wife after attending church, we sat together in front of his computer (that has since died) and our first son and his wife was online from Copenhagen, providing the online pantomime entertainment while everyone else was doing the talking. 

Everything was a little confusing as almost everybody had a lot of questions for Elder Jepsen to answer and it would be difficult if not impossible to recount the event. In the end Elder Jepsen had mostly listened to a lot of simultaneously asked questions and we were out of time. But, Elder Jepsen is well and enjoying his mission.

To briefly explain who we all are: As Elder Jepsen's parents, we both served missions many years ago. When we met, I was planning to go on a mission and my yet to be wife was considering to prepare for a mission. With the natural bias that comes with a romantic interest I strongly encouraged her to also go on a mission, selfishly convinced that my chances would disappear if she was left to date, while I served a mission (I of course also thought that both she and others would benefit from her service). I must have been convincing, because she beat me to it and left for mission before I did and served as Sister Kirk in the Canada Halifax Mission. A few months later I too was called and served in the Canada Toronto Mission, as the first Elder Jepsen of our family. 

Our daughter went on a mini-mission that through a few extensions ended up lasting four months, which she thoroughly enjoyed. 

When the time came for our first son to serve, he prepared and was called to serve in the England London South Mission. After his return home he later married an American that served a mission in the Brazil Curitiba Mission and they currently live in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Our second son began preparing and was called to serve in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission but served the first four months as a missionary in Denmark Copenhagen Mission, due to a delayed visa. After his return he married a Spanish girl from Barcelona and they now live in Esbjerg, Denmark. 

After preparing for his mission, our third and last son was called to serve in the Spokane Washington Mission. Much like his brother, he also was blessed to spend the first four months of his mission in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission, due to a delayed visa. 

The occasion was Mother's Day and what could make a Mother happier and be greater tribute, than being surrounded by her children on Mother's Day? Completing the picture, our daughter called later and they also had a nice talk. It was a happy day and a good day to be a Mother of four wonderful children.

I feel richly blessed to have found such a gem of a woman to be the Mother of our children. Instead of personal luxury, travel to interesting locations or an all consuming career, she chose to give birth to and raise our children up to be good people. My good wife and the Mother of our children has sacrificed all her best years, the prime of her life, "The Bucket List" or "All the things you must do before you die" to be a Mother and raise children. All over the world, Mothers have for generations put their children first through most of their life. 

While unnamed in the great books of history, Mothers are the unsung heroes of all time. They go mostly unnoticed because of the many demands to being a good Mother. 

I can't imagine a greater feat with more lasting effect than true Motherhood. It can't be replicated, substituted or ignored without consequences, you can't outsource motherhood and you can't raise children as you would raise free-range chickens. It takes real time and real heart. But, a Mother doesn't think of all those things, she raises her children because she listens to her heart, telling her to do so. 

We all have mothers but those of us raised by a Mother and those of us blessed with Mother's for our children, have a lot to be grateful for. Let's give thanks to God and all honor the Mothers in our lives on every Mother's Day, every day!

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