Seth squirmed in his chair. He could hardly wait to hear what Grandma and Grandpa had to say. When everyone was quiet, Grandpa began. “For a long time, Grandma and I have prayed about serving a mission. We want to do what the prophet has asked, so we turned in our mission papers. The Lord has called us to serve a mission in Puerto Rico.”
Everyone was happy and excited for Grandma and Grandpa. Everyone except Seth. He felt sad and lonely. “It’s almost like everyone wants them to go away,” Seth thought. He went to his room, curled up on his bed, and cried.
Mom found him there. “Seth, what’s wrong?”
“I can’t believe that Grandma and Grandpa are leaving us. What about when my new baby sister is born? She won’t know who they are. And what about me? Don’t they care about me?”
“Seth, Grandma and Grandpa love you very much,” Mom said. “That’s one of the reasons they’re going to serve—to set a good example for you and for all of us.”
Seth didn’t understand. He had never felt more miserable.
The next morning, Grandma’s soft voice woke Seth up. “I thought maybe you and I could have breakfast together,” she said.
Seth sprang out of bed. Maybe Grandma and Grandpa had changed their minds!
After Grandma and Seth finished their waffles, she told him a story. “When Grandpa and I started thinking about going on a mission, I was concerned about you. I prayed that Heavenly Father would help you to understand our feelings. Then at general conference, Elder Robert D. Hales said if we serve a mission, our families will be blessed.
“Grandpa and I want those blessings for you, Seth. We also want to show you that it’s important to follow the prophet. We want you to share this special time with us and be happy.”
Seth knew that Grandma was right. “I am happy for you, Grandma. I just didn’t know that following the prophet meant I’d lose you.”
“You will never lose me, Seth,” Grandma said. “We are an eternal family. But we are asking you to share us with people in Puerto Rico who need us. The time will pass quickly. We’ll write letters and send you stamps for your collection. And when we get back, I’ll be an even better grandma!”
On Sunday, Seth’s Primary sang “Follow the Prophet.” It seemed like a whole new song to Seth. Now he knew that sharing Grandma and Grandpa was one way he could follow the prophet too.
“Families are greatly strengthened as they pray for their parents and grandparents and read letters sent home which share their testimonies and the contribution they are making in the mission field.” 2
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“Couple Missionaries: A Time to Serve,” Ensign, May 2001, 26.
Illustration by Julie F. Young