Mother and Daughter Serve Missions at the Same Time
By Michelle Garrett, Church News staff writer
Many young sisters are having the chance to serve a mission at a younger age since President Thomas S. Monson’s announcement in the October 2012 general conference, but not many can say they are going at the same time as their mother.
Andraya Salcido, 20, the youngest of seven children, is serving in the Texas Houston East Mission, Spanish-speaking, and her mother, Sister Yvonne Salcido, is serving in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission.
After her parents divorced about two and half years ago, Andraya and her mother lived alone together and grew very close. Neither knew that a mission would come so soon in their future, much less that they would serve at the same time. Both had to pass through a series of spiritual impressions and unexpected miracles to get to where they are today—serving the Lord wearing the black nametag.
Not long after a divorce, Yvonne Salcido noticed that the thought she should serve a mission kept coming to her mind. Each time, she pushed the thought out of her head, telling herself she would go when she retired. Though all but one of her seven children were moved out and had families of their own, she was busy working and going to school at Utah Valley University, and she had her home to worry about.
Sister Salcido thought about selling her house for over a year when one day she received a clear prompting in the temple that it was time to sell. She immediately started to get things ready, and one day a friend asked her what she planned to do after she sold the house. Sister Salcido said, “I have no idea, but I know that I will know.” Her friend responded, “Maybe you should go on a mission.”
“And when she said that it was just like the Spirit went through me from head to toe,” Sister Salcido said. “I just burst into tears.”
After that conversation, Sister Salcido knew she’d received a prompting to serve a mission. She decided she wouldn’t tell her children until she had sold the house, but Andraya noticed right away that her mother wasn’t telling her something. Sister Salcido admitted to her daughter that she was planning on serving a mission but made her promise not to tell anyone else.
Sister Salcido put her house up for sale and had three offers in three weeks. In a neighborhood where some houses had been on the market for two years without being sold, Sister Salcido knew that everything was falling into place for what the Lord wanted her to do.
She sent in her mission papers the first week of September 2012 and didn’t receive her call until November 2. She finished her associate’s degree in December and left on her mission in the beginning of March 2013. She knows the timing could not have been better.
“[Heavenly Father] had a better plan than I could’ve ever come up with,” she said.
It was the summer of 2012 and Andraya was 19 years old when she started having thoughts about serving a mission. Like her mother, she pushed those thoughts out of her mind, knowing she still had a year and a half before she was 21. She didn’t want to make a decision about serving a mission when she still had so much time before she could go.
Eventually, Andraya began to notice that a mission was all she could think about. Finally, she decided she was receiving promptings from the Lord and she needed to seriously consider a mission—right now.
She began to study and pray about serving a mission and finally set a day aside to fast and pray about it in the temple. She sat waiting her turn in the baptistry and started to pray. She told the Lord that it made no sense to her why she would need to figure this out so soon but that she wanted to do what He thought was best for her.
She finished praying and opened the scriptures to Doctrine and Covenants 15:3–4, 6:
“And I will tell you that which no man knoweth save me and thee alone—
“For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you. …
“And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father.”
“The Spirit was so strong, it was kind of like my mom’s experience,” Andraya said. “I just felt from head to toe this extreme peace that I don’t think I’ve ever felt.”
Andraya felt the Lord had given her an answer in the temple that day. She told only her mom about this experience. For a while, Andraya was the only one who knew her mom was going on a mission, and her mom was the only one who knew the same about Andraya. It was a secret between mother and daughter.
Andraya said that at first she was really excited to have her answer, but as the weeks went by she realized she had so long to go before she could even think about turning in her papers. The prospect was daunting.
Sister Salcido also realized that she would likely be out on her mission when her daughter turned 21. This meant her daughter would be going to the temple to be endowed and leaving for her mission without her mother around. This worried Sister Salcido, but she knew that it would all work out somehow.
“We were very close and we were really excited for each other, and we thought it was really cool that we were having similar spiritual experiences,” Andraya said. But she also knew it would be really hard for her and her mother to be apart. They had grown so close through the trial of the divorce and the years of living alone together.
“That was a little bit sad,” Andraya said, “but we were more happy for the fact that we were doing what the Lord wanted.”
Two Mission Calls
Then came the general conference that changed everything. Andraya was working at her job at a grocery store while her mom was at home watching general conference. Suddenly, she was barraged with text messages and phone calls from people who knew she was excited about serving a mission—but only her mom knew that she had received an answer from God. It was her mom she called back first, having no idea what had happened, demanding to know what was the matter.
Andraya recalled, “She said, ‘They changed the missionary age; girls can go at 19. Fill out your papers.’” Both mother and daughter started crying on the phone.
“I knew I had a confirmation of the prompting that I’d already had in the temple,” Andraya said. “That was why I needed to find out so early, months before I got that answer, that I was going to go on a mission, so that right when I got the call to serve that I would do it.”
She hung up and called the ward executive secretary right then. Her papers were in a week and a half later.
By this point, Sister Salcido still hadn’t received her call, but she’d had her papers in since September, and she started to worry that she would leave before her daughter did. She really wanted to be able to send her daughter out on her mission and be there for her at that important moment. Andraya put the same availability date as her mother, in the hopes that they would be able to be in the missionary training center at the same time.
In the end, they got their calls a week apart. Andraya was called to Texas, leaving March 6, and her mother left for Nauvoo on March 11. Now, not only did Sister Salcido get to send her daughter out on her mission, but mother and daughter were able to be in the MTC together.
Sister Salcido said she most looked forward to “the peace that comes from knowing that you’re doing exactly what the Lord wants you to do right at that time in your life.” Andraya said she was excited to be a witness to God’s love for His children and be an instrument to bring them into His kingdom.
“I think that’s something we’ve gained a strong testimony of, going through the whole trial in our family,” Sister Salcido said. “That amazing perfect love that Heavenly Father has for us, and how infinitely He is involved in our lives even when we don’t always recognize it. He is always there for us.” Sister Salcido knows that the Lord has had a hand in bringing together her and her daughter’s missionary service.
“There is no way anyone could’ve ever orchestrated how everything has worked out,” she said. “I think sometimes we think that when we submit to the Lord’s will we think that it won’t be what we really want or what we imagine, but actually when we submit to the Lord’s will it’s actually better than we could ever imagine.”