"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6
It's really amazing how much faith and trusting in the Lord can do. I've got to give a lot of credit to my in-laws for their continued faith and endurance. Never giving up on their children regardless of the decisions they have made. Letting them choose, sometimes the wrong path.....watching them fall flat on their faces and still being there to help them up when they were ready. That had to have been so hard for them....so heartbreaking for them....but they always kept the faith in the Lord, and in their children, and now that their children are older and grown we are all able to see the benefits, rewards and blessings of their faithfulness.
I blogged a while back about Sau....the choices he made, the consequences he paid....and how far he had come. I said that he is a true life realization of the scripture in Proverbs.....his parents taught him well, allowed him his free agency, watched him struggle and fall.....and watched him change and come back to the church. I had never been so proud of anyone before in my life. Now I can add Po to that list. :)
Po is Ova's youngest brother.....the baby of 7 kids. He's not a man of many words....a very reserved person, quiet, and he pretty much just goes with the flow. He doesn't talk very much, at least to us sister-in-laws......but all the kids absolutely love and adore him. He's definitely the favorite uncle. Po's been doing his own thing for the past several years. He moved to Vegas to play rugby with the BlackJacks and he just did his own thing out there. He was taught when he was young right and wrong, but he was never really close to the church....at least since I've known him. He was trying things and doing things he shouldn't have been doing.......but his parents never gave up on him. When he came back home for baby Katea's 1st birthday party and he told us that he wanted to move back to Utah and work on going on a mission, we were all so excited for him.
We are lucky enough to have him staying with us as he prepares for his mission. We get to see the transformation happen right before our eyes. He started asking a lot of questions, and having scripture study sessions with Ova. He would read his scriptures and say his prayers....he would go to church and you could just see the light inside him get brighter and brighter. After a little while, he got his priesthood. He worked with the bishop and did everything he needed to do to prepare to serve the Lord. And finally he handed his papers in. There was a little hiccup when submitting them and they actually got sent back. The church just needed a little more explanation on some of the charges he had on his record from his younger years......you'd think that would have deterred him from wanting to go....but no roadblock was going to stop him. He knew what he wanted. He knew what he needed to do, and he was determined. He got everything cleared up and re-submitted his papers and on January 9th, 2013 he received his call!
We all met at Jr and Tina's house to watch him open his call. The whole house was packed....you wouldn't even believe it. From one end of the house to the other, it was full. We had the Frisco family on Skype on the tablet, Kiki and her boys were on Skype on the laptop.....TiTonga and Meti were facetiming so they could be there too even though they were at work and far away. Thank goodness for modern technology that lets us be present for things like this without actually being present! :)
Alice conducted and she went around the room and had people guess where he was going to go. People were guessing all kinds of different places, but Ova and I thought he'd go Spanish speaking. When the time came for him to open it, it was dead silent......he started reading his letter and then he said "I've been called to Planet Mars"......he's a bit of a jokester and we all had a good laugh for a minute and then he kept reading. Dear Elder Fangupo, you have hereby been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you have been assigned to labor in the.......................................
Mexico, Chihuahua Mission
You will report to the MTC in Provo, Utah on May 1st, 2013
Everyone in the room was screaming and cheering....Po had the biggest smile on his face and his mom was crying. What a special moment for our whole family! We all sat around after just eating and talking and celebrating......Po was glowing. He was so happy. We were all so happy for him. He is the lost sheep that came back to the fold, another real life realization of the scripture in Proverbs. A changed man.
Po makes the 5th one in the family to go on his mission.....and they all went foreign. Jr served in Guam, Alice served in New Zealand, Ova served in Nicaragua, Tim served in Guatemala and now Po is going to serve in Mexico....what a blessing!
I know Po is going to be an awesome missionary. I know how much this means to him and how much he wants this. I've seen him change....he's going to leave on his mission with a clean heart and clean hands. He's 25 years old. It's never too late! He's going to be an awesome missionary because he's been there and done that and he can teach from experience. Those are the most powerful missionaries, when they can relate and share personal conversion experiences.
Estoy super feliz por mi hermanito. Estoy feliz por su decision de servir. Estoy feliz que el va a aprender Espanol tambien! Ahora Ova y yo podemos hablar con el en el idioma. Podemos ayudarle y contestar sus preguntas. El va a tocar muchas personas que estan buscando la verdad.....y por su decision el va a ser bendicido. Estoy super feliz que el ha sido un gran ejemplo a mis hijos, y estoy agradecida que mis hijos tienen un Tio que puedan seguir.
Eso me hace querer compartir mi testimonio. Ha sido mucho tiempo desde que comparti mi testimonio en Espanol.....pero realmente yo gane mi testimonio en Espanol, cuando estaba serviendo la gente en Chile. Se que Dios nos ama. Esta obra es un obra de amor. La iglesia es amor. Si hay una cosa que aprendi cuando servi mi mision, fue amor....y caridad. Dios nos ama tanto que mando su hijo a sufrir y morir por nosotros, y Jesus Cristo nos ama tanto que vino hacerlo. Ahora nos toca a nosotros mostrarles a ellos cuanto les amamos. Podemos hacer eso sigiendoles y haciendo lo que sabemos que debemos hacer. Po esta mostrando su amor. Se que El va a ser un gran misionero y que va a tocar los corazones de muchas personas. La iglesia es verdadera y estoy muy bendicida y agradecida que soy parte de ella.
CONGRATULATIONS Po......I am so proud of you! Keep working hard, keep asking questions and learning. Keep increasing your faith and knowledge....you are going to be one powerful missionary and I can't wait until you're out there in the field and we can write letters in Spanish to each other. Thank you so much for being such a great example to my boys. They look up to you so much! We love you Uncle Po!