Hello to all who enjoy following the weekly updates from Elder Albertson.
I thought as Parker's mom, I would share just a few things that I have experienced since having a son out in the mission field. So many things have taken place in the 8 months that he has been gone, but I wanted to share with you just a few things that have stood out to me.
1. Monday has truly become our favorite day of the week. Anticipating Parker's weekly email and finally seeing it pop in our inboxes each Monday is the best thing ever!!
2. I never turn down an opportunity to feed the missionaries. Maybe I think Kharma will come back on Parker and he will go hungry, or maybe it's because I know that our Missionaries mother's are counting on us to feed their sons, just the same way I am counting on member's in Santa Rosa to feed my son.
3. I suddenly have a hard time not crying when I see a group of young men in our ward or stake, sing a musical number or give a talk or simply pass the sacrament. Something about seeing those boys, makes me want to walk up to them and say, "My son is on a Mission and I am needing a hug, would you mind giving me one? ( Don't worry, I haven't done it!)
Another thing that I have experienced is how aware I am as Parker's Mom as to when he is struggling. It never ceases to amaze me how my dreams/nightmares at night become obsessed with Parker at times. I know immediately when this happens that he is struggling and I need to do what I can to help him through those struggles. Now this, as you can imagine is the hard part since I am not there with him. This can be a moment of frustration for any mom who knows her child is struggling and she isn't there to help. What I can do is; Pray even more than I already do. Fast for him to have strength, and send off an extra letter or two so he hears from me often and knows that I am aware of his trials.
Now, don't get me wrong....his struggles haven't been anything major and I know that he needs trials in his life to make him stronger and to gain independence and to become a man, even though in my mind, he will always be my "Little Boy".
So, I want to share with the last unpleasant dream I had just last Wednesday night. This might make you laugh, but let me tell you, with all the seriousness I can muster, it was not FUNNY at the time!! This dream came just 2 nights after hearing about a situation Parker was in that was causing some very adult kind of decisions to be made on his part. The kind of decisions that can affect him and others the rest of their lives. The kind of decisions that as his Mom, I never thought to advise him on. I can only begin to express my appreciation for a wonderful Mission President, who has the wisdom and the experience to offer the necessary guidance needed for Parker to come out of this situation stronger and more Christlike.
Here's the dream....
I was at home when the phone rang and it was Kamryn saying I needed to come over right away because Parker had called her, and was on the phone. As I raced to grab my keys to drive the 4 minutes it takes to get to her house. I asked, "What the heck is he doing calling you?" her reply was, "I'll tell you when you get here." As I pulled into her driveway and made my way into her home, I could see her holding the phone to her chest. She looked at me and said, "Mom, it's Parker. You need to talk to him, but before I give you the phone, you have to promise that you'll go easy on him!" I looked at her and said, "Why? What's going on? Is he O.k?" she replied by saying, "He's fine Mom, but he's really upset, he didn't know what to do. He's at a BAR and he's DRUNK."
That last sentence woke me up from a deep sleep. I never did talk to Parker in the dream. Probably good thing because who knows how that would've gone. All I knew, the second I woke up, is that he was definitely going through some trials! A trial big enough that it drove him to drink in my dream. Thank goodness it was just a dream!!
This is just one of many dream experiences I have had since he left back June. I like to think it's mother's intuition. Brett would probably argue that it's just my need to cut the apron strings. Either way, I know that I am still connected to my boy and I know as his mom that I will do whatever it takes to lend him strength.
I want you to know he has been missed every day since he left but that we are so excited to see the changes and growth he is experiencing. I know his heart is in the right place and that this is exactly where he wants and needs to be right now.
I also know, that no matter what, when I can't be there for him, his Heavenly Father can be and will be. He can help Parker in ways that I can't. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Please continue to include Parker, in your prayers, as well as all the missionaries serving around the world. Each of them need love, encouragement and support. Each of them has left a family back home that loves and misses them.
Keep sending those letters. For those of you who don't know, Parker treasures each one. When he receives a letter he carefully 3-hole punches it and places it chronologically in a big 3 ring binder. These letters are a source of strength for him as he can read and re-read them throughout the week. I know that during hard times he rely's on those letters to help him and to feel close to home when necessary. Parker has filled 2 large binders with letters from home and is currently on binder 3.
I hope you will continue to stay up to date on his blog. He loves sharing his experiences with anyone who will read.
Parker's missionary momma!