Tuesday night last week Grandma and Grandpa Olson and our stake president, President Spackman, came over to our home for Jaclyn's setting apart. President Spackman asked each of us to give Jaclyn some advice.
Grandpa Olson shared some memorable quotes that will serve Jaclyn well: "Work like everything depends on you; pray like everything depends on the Lord." As well as a reminder that, "The Lord's ways are not our ways." He counselled her to make decisions, but only to act on them when they are ratified by the spirit and shared some personal experiences from when he served as a bishop. He told her that she will enjoy her mission more if she lives in harmony with the Lord's will.
Steven also felt that using the spirit as her guide would be the most important thing Jaclyn could do on her mission. He advised her not to get frustrated when things aren't going well. He also just gave her a bit of a pep talk and told her to go out and do her best. He may have used the phrase, "kill it in general".
Ken's advice was related to the people she meets everyday (not necessarily the investigators). He told her to reach out and love and serve everyone she comes in contact with, purely from a place of sincerity, as an end in and of itself. "Some people just need someone to love them."
Grandma Olson shared a quote by President Benson, often quoted by Sister Kapp while she was matron at the Cardston Temple: “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.” She also reminded Jaclyn of the importance of writing letters to her mother every week.
Carmen gave relationship advice. She told Jaclyn not to be "that weird companion no-one likes" and then softened her advice to be a reminder that Jaclyn's relationships with her companions are important. She recommended that Jaclyn find common ground with each of her companions, and at the same time to be true to herself and not to pretend to be someone she's not.
I had already had several 'advice talks' with Jaclyn before that evening, mostly related to obedience as that seems to be something that all missionaries report as being key to serving a good mission. So on Jaclyn's last night with us, my advice to her was to just go out and be a full time missionary, and trust that all that follows her mission will fall into place. That she should forget about what will happen next (school, relationships) and just concern herself with the work before her in the mission field.
Chloe told Jaclyn to listen to the still small voice and then shared a story she heard recently at church from the life of President Benson. When he was a young missionary at one point he failed to follow the counsel from priesthood leaders and both he and his companions suffered for it. They were separated and put in physical danger - the companion suffered a physical injury. From this story Chloe advised Jaclyn to always stay with her companion and to follow the counsel of her leaders.
President Spackman closed the sharing with his own advice and asked her to 'perform' a mission, not just to 'serve' a mission. He told her that she had specific work to perform. He also shared a quote:“In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance.”
Following that, he asked Jaclyn what advice she would share with herself?
Jaclyn said she knew it would be important that she lose herself in the work. That she needed to work with the spirit, and be humble. She shared a story from her Provo stake president that when he was on his mission he was frustrated that he had not yet been made a senior companion, and it wasn't until he decided that he needed to just be 'the best junior companion there ever was' that his mission opened up for him.
Following this President Spackman set Jaclyn apart as a full time missionary assisted by her dad and her grandpa. Jaclyn then bore her testimony to all of us of her knowledge of Jesus Christ as our Saviour and the restored gospel. It was a beautiful evening.
The next morning we got up bright and early! Jaclyn said good-bye to her siblings at home, and then Ken and I took her to the airport where she checked in at 4:30am for her 6:30am flight. My tears were tears of happiness, and I have had my own spiritual confirmation that she is doing what she is supposed to be doing.