And the Blessings from Hard Things | 86

In this edition I talk about my parents returning home from their mission and the impact of the COVID-19 virus on our lives.


music by Dyalla Swain

Automated transcript

hello and welcome to parking thought the
show where we highlight the good in the
world from the extraordinary to the
everyday you’re going to want to like
and subscribe wherever you happen to
find us
curiosity meet gratitude my name is
Jacob and I’m glad you’re here today in
this episode today we’re gonna be
talking about what everybody else is
talking about I know this is not a safe
place to avoid the news we’re gonna
actually talk a little bit about it
we’re gonna talk a little bit today
about kovat right the corona virus
that is spreading so I don’t have any
new facts for you about how to avoid
getting sick I don’t have any new
solutions on what you should do I think
there are plenty of people covering that
what I want to do is I want to cover the
angle of being able to find good things
happening there’s a gentleman on Twitter
who is commenting how he really felt
anxious about the coming pandemic and
that may or may not happen again
I don’t have enough information to be
able to give the advice on whether what
is coming is going to happen or what is
coming may not happen at all I don’t
know but what I do know is that we have
different leaders with different roles
doing different responses to what is
going on and I want to talk about one of
the leaders or rather a group of leaders
and their response to this and what I
was able to experience because of their
response because it was not entirely
negative so my parents just finished
serving a year-long mission in Alaska
for our church and those of you who’ve
been longtime listeners note that I’m a
member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
latter-day saints which means that we
believe in the Book of Mormon you might
have heard of us as mentioned as Mormons
before right but we prefer to be known
as members of the Church of Jesus Christ
of latter-day saints I know that’s a bit
of a mouthful but it’s important now my
parents volunteered their time they
volunteered one entire year of their
lives to be able to go and serve and
they were asked to serve in the
Anchorage Alaska mission office so a
mission office is responsible for
helping to organize all of the
missionaries and making sure
their apartments are up to snuff and
that they have vehicles to drive least
in a remote area like Alaska vehicles to
drive it’s pretty significant and
important making sure that mail is being
delivered properly etc etc and then they
have the supplies they need to be able
to share a loving message with others
right that Jesus Christ lives and loves
everyone and that’s that’s their role is
to go around and share that message for
those who hear that message and want to
join the church missionaries are
specially trained to assist in that
process to help them be baptized and
join the church right but they are there
primarily to share a loving message that
Jesus Christ lives and loves everyone
here on the earth now my mom and dad
were not in the proselyting space on
their mission right they were not out
there knocking on doors and preaching
they worked in the office so my father
was responsible for the vehicles that
were there and with a hundred and eighty
or so plus missionaries and literally a
state or an area of the mission that was
about the size of two-thirds of the
United States right or or a third of the
United States contiguous United States
right that was not an insignificant
amount of space to have to manage a
vehicle fleet for and my dad managed
that fleet and had some really long days
and my mom helped out in the office and
took on a lot of the day-to-day
responsibilities to help make sure that
things continued to run smoothly and you
know normally when senior missionaries
go off and they volunteer to do this
there will be opportunities for them to
take a day off or take a step back and
my parents didn’t really have that
opportunity they were I would call it
overworked and you know usually when you
come back from your mission wherever you
happen to serve whether you’re a young
proselyting missionary right or you’re
an all lower senior couple you come back
and you get to report to your home
congregation that you served a mission
you can talk about some of the blessings
that you received well that talk was
scheduled for this Sunday and this
Sunday church for every member and every
congregation of the Church of Jesus
Christ latter-day saints was cancelled
we were told to hold services
according to the instructions we
received from our local leadership so
the leadership in Salt Lake advised us
to you know await instructions from our
local leaders and those instructions
came so at my parents house when the
instructions came to their congregation
and I was at my I was with them when
instructions came for our congregation
as well and you know the instructions
that we received were that if we were
worthy priesthood holders to be able to
administer the sacrament in our own home
so so in most congregations right they
the sacrament might me a different word
but the sacrament for us is being able
to take of the bread and water that
represent the body in the blood of
Christ and because we have a lake lurgy
where members of our congregation run
the congregation in a lot of ways we
have the authority to be able to do that
and to administer that and so I was able
to kneel down and help bless the bread
and prepare the bread and water to
administer it to my mother
and my wife and my children today in my
parents home and it was a neat
experience and a lot of what I remember
doing that is I remember doing these
really small micro congregations sort of
things when I was in Iraq and
Afghanistan oftentimes it would be me
and one other priesthood holder and we
would be able to arrange and partake of
the sacrament and now our my beliefs may
differ with those in the audience but
for me those really special and being
able to have those memories come back
again all those special moments where
when there was chaos and boredom and new
environments and lots of discomfort to
be able to have a few minutes of
reflection and recognizing the love that
our Savior has for us those were special
and so as I was able to help and assist
with my father I was able to have those
memories and also create new ones the
the virus may have different effects and
it may cause a lot of a lot of heartache
and may cause a lot of anxiety there’s a
gentleman on Twitter I am who was very
anxious about this and he and I see
things differently
and you know I’d mentioned he had
commented that he wanted the government
to play a role that I don’t think is
appropriate for the government and I
made a comment that hey I don’t think
that role is appropriate for the
government and he responded back very
tersely he’s like look this is serious
dude and I I knew that it wasn’t the
time to have that conversation and so I
wrote him back and I said look I said
hey you know we may disagree but that
doesn’t mean we we can’t get along and I
told him I said look I said I am
absolutely happy to be able to put our
differences aside and work on work on
this what would you recommend I do and
he wrote back and he said you can help
spread the word that social distancing
is the only effective thing we can do
right now Taking Back Cove at
even if you’re healthy you can pass the
disease on other people who may not be
able to fight it off stay home avoid
crowds even if you’re not infected
and so while we did visit my parents
this weekend right and that has some
risk associated with it it was a great
trip and great memories were created by
it and we’ve calculated that risk for
our ourselves that doesn’t necessarily
impact others it impacts our family and
I I think that drew who wrote this is is
really passionate and he’s not his
passions not misplaced he wants to help
people and I really appreciate that he
has that perspective and passion to help
others and I’m very grateful that we
have those voices out there even though
I may disagree about the model or method
of action and he’s calling for and you
know there are blessings even when we
deal with these trials I think Drew and
I connected in a way today that we would
have never otherwise had he not been
passionate I would have not been passive
in my response how do we not have this
happen I wouldn’t have been been able to
create those memories with my parents
and my children and we’re going to
continue or our guidance from our local
leadership is to continue to not go to
our larger congregations but to have
church in our homes you know for the
next several weeks and so we’ll wait for
more guidance on when that might be
rescinded but in the meantime
our family gets to prepare to be able to
do that in the home now after we were
done with the sacrament the passing in
the partaking of the bread in the water
we were able to use some of our
technology into Holland no phone call
where my brother who is in Arizona was
able to listen as well and and remember
my part of closure after you’ve been
through a year-long experience like a
military deployment or like my parents
mission is being able to share what that
experiences been meant to you and what
you’ve learned from it and by being able
to dial on my brother and being there
for my parents and this is one of the
reasons why we took the risk I want my
parents to have that closure that’s
going to be important for them to know
that they were heard with the
experiences they had on the mission and
the blessings that they had my mom
talked about how she learned and grew
into being able to do hard things even
though they became very difficult and
very time-consuming and my father talked
about how the discipline to do the small
things helps you create and accomplish
great things and those are the
impressions I walked away from being
able to hear them say those in person
being able to to let them have their
space to share was really important to
me and I I think I hope we’ll be blessed
for it but we calculated the risk and
felt that it would be appropriate
my parents are either near or just
shortly older than and they’re in a
risk category and we our visit presents
a risk to them but we really wanted to
provide them with that closure and so we
went ahead and traveled down there I
would encourage you guys to also look
for opportunities or you can be blessed
even though your situation might change
with change comes opportunity and there
are opportunities to find good things
even among chaos at some point on this
podcast I might tell you about an
evening where we were walking through an
open area during a rocket attack in Iraq
and how even in those moments of high
stress great blessings can be found and
I think that would be a good episode to
share later on I’ll look for comments to
see if we can get any
comments to encourage that episode to
come forth might be a hard one for me to
share and so I want to make sure it’s
not falling on deaf ears now this is the
part where we finish off the podcast and
I tell you that if you want to say thank
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you yes all on a nice platter right a
great meal of podcast links ready for
you to go the last thing we do in each
episode is to challenge the audience
audience to remember in a world where
you can choose to be anything oh why not
choose to be grateful