Thursday, December 1, 2011

When I Grow Up, I’ll Go On A Mission - Giveaway!

It’s one of my favorite stories to come out of my family yet.

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, much like other Christian faiths, we believe in missionary work.  Most of our missionaries are young men between 19-21 years old, but many young women and empty nester couples also serve anywhere from one to two years as missionaries.  My parents served several years ago in Minnesota, and in the last year we’ve had two nephews return from two year stints in Missouri and Mexico, leaving one nephew out in the “field” who is currently serving in Brazil.

My nephew, Marshal, just got home last month from Mexico.  With one sister living in New York, a brother in Los Angeles, and two nephews of his own that had been born during his absence, the entire family gathered at my brother’s home in Utah to be there when he came home.  It was a momentous occasion that they all took very seriously, which is to say my sister-in-law got online and set about ordering sombreros and fake mustaches for everyone to wear in the airport as they waited to greet him.  That is how I know my SIL is completely integrated into my family because I come from a LONG line of airport shenanigans.  Like when we made a big banner out of butcher paper to wish my sister a happy 40th birthday as she exited the terminal (she was still in her 30’s) or the time my family wore red, white and blue and my Dad played “I’m A Yankee Doodle Dandy” on his ukulele as they welcomed me back from basketball camp.  So yeah, sorry Michelle, but YOU ARE ONE OF US NOW.  (I’ve known for some time.  I hope you don’t take it too hard.)
So there they were, this large crowd of sombrero toting, mustache donning hooligans in the Salt Lake City airport waiting for their son/brother/uncle to round the corner so they could put their arms around him for the first time in two years.

He came around the corner alright. 

Wearing a sombrero.  AND A FAKE MUSTACHE.




You guys, seriously.  This wasn't planned, which makes it only one of the 8,001 reasons I am stoked to share a last name with these people.  

(photos courtesy of Kinsey)


I won’t lie, I want my son to go on a mission.  He is almost 12, which means he would be eligible in about 7 more years.  I’m not anxious to get rid of him, and I know it would be hard to let him go, knowing that I would only hear his voice twice a year on Mother’s Day and Christmas, but I want him to go.  I want him to sit in living rooms or grass huts or dirt floors and tell people that Jesus lives.  I want him to write emails about seeing people get the light back in their eyes when they hear the gospel.  I want him to learn what it really means to rely on God.

I just read a book that I’m going to give Drew for Christmas called, “When I Grow Up, I’ll Go On A Mission”.  I love it because it illustrates with real pictures of real missionaries all over the world doing the same work.  Unless you have served a mission before (Cory did, I didn’t), all you really know about missionary work is that it’s hard, that you secretly hope you don’t get called to serve in Utah, and that you come back and say it was the best experience of your life.  I like the fact that this book gives a peek into the whole missionary experience, from sharing the gospel to helping a neighbor or from eating shave ice to tossing back a coconut, (let’s be honest, the shave ice really sold me) what you really get is a glimpse of love, the way God intended.  You see that Heavenly Father knows his children, He loves his children, and He’s using the ones who already know that to make sure the word gets out to the rest of them. 

So yes, I’m giving Drew a copy of this book for Christmas.  I will also be giving a copy to one of YOU, because the author, Valine Vikari (who, when she’s not writing fun books is probably spelling her name for people on the phone), has donated a book to give away!  You can enter by doing two things:  1) Leave a comment and, 2) “Like” the book on facebook, and leave me a comment to that end.  You have until midnight Sunday, December 4 to enter after which I will have Drew randomly pick a winner.  Seems fitting, don’t you think?  If you don't win, you can still order the book from the website.  I think it's going to be good for Drew AND you.  But if not, we’re still preparing in other ways:



53 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Ha! You guys are awesome! And those are the kind of jokes I like.

My husband's family takes them too far. They love to get the newly married couple. They put rice in all our suitcases for our honeymoon, AND in the vents of my husband's car. We had rice coming out for a year. I like a fun prank, but not ones that cross the line.

The Boohers said...

A giveaway? Count me in!

The Boohers said...

And I liked them on FB.:)

Kerri said...

How often is THAT going to happen??? Well, apparently in your family, more often than not! Love this story.

Kelly M said...

That is an awesome story.

And I WANT that book! I have four boys and just found out our next one is also a boy- that makes 5 boys in just over 6 years! (And one girl before all the boys started. ) Because our boys are so close, we could have at least one missionary out for NINE consecutive years. For real! So, I need that book. :)

And, I love your blog and have been following you for a few years (from back in the LRS days), even though I've never met you and you have no idea who I am. But you always make me smile, so thanks!

Shoebox Princess said...

I think I may have to borrow the sombrero/fake mustache idea in two years and two months. My son is leaving for the MTC on Feb 8 and will be serving in Tijuana.

Where in MN did your parents serve? Cuz that's where I live.

Brandy said...

I would love to win that book. :)

Shelane said...

Sombreros and moustachios? Awesome.

Mom and Camera said...

Hey Vern...loved your post it made me think of serving a mission with Cory. It also made me think of brownies made with methane blue - the result of which was a special package left on your doorstep. It also made me think of stealing keys to your apartment and drinking your milk in the middle of the night and many other great times. Tell Cory Hola for me. I cant wait for my 3 year old to go as well.

Groovy Grover Greg

Tom and Rhonda Knight said...

Kristy, I was taking a break at work and decided to read your post. It made me laugh out loud! Your family is hilarious! What a great welcome home, for everyone. Congrats!

The Brandleys said...

I have 3 boys, they totally need this!

The Brandleys said...

oh and i liked them on FB!

Sherise said...

What a cool book! And aww, did you read the story behind it on the website?

Meg said...

Lovely post. I also liked it on facebook. Sorry my side is a little boring (well except for the "special" stories that we all have and you and Travis think are just not normal)

Chrissy Jo said...

I want it! Me me me!

the emily said...

Pick me! We used sombreros and mustaches for a Christmas card that said "Foley's Navidad". We totally belong in your family. Also, my 5 year old has already told me he doesn't want to get baptized OR go on a mission (because he would miss me too much, for real) so we really need to get him excited starting NOW.

mommyoffive said...

I have three boys - this book would be PERFECT for them!

Vennesa said...

I love the mustaches! I served a mission and I hope that all 5 of mine serve missions. Boys AND girls.

Vennesa said...

I liked it on FB.

Our family said...

Oh, pick me!

anitamombanita said...

Did you know that I love love love your family? Oh yeah, you probably already knew that. ;)

wjmom said...

With TWO missionaries leaving in the next few months, I would really love a copy of this book.

And also, I want one of my daughters to marry into your family. We would fit in, I'm tellin' ya!

thefoxkids said...

Oh I need THIS book!!! and I liked it on fb..

Nicol said...

So I bet you can not guess where Stephen served!!!! That's Right Salt Lake City, UTAH (with a little time in Wyoming) We always tease him that he served a girl mission, 18 months and in the misson home which at the time was on temple square!

Garden of Egan said...

I love this post!!!!
What an awesome family you are to engage in such "get kicked out the airport" behavior!
I think it's hilarious that he met you wearing the 'stash.

Yup, shaved ice is totally a reason to go on a mission.

Melinda said...

I also have a young son who is aspires to be a missionary. This book sounds perfect for him!

laurie said...

Pick me! Pick me!! I have 5 boys and they love to read. Ok, well, some of them do. Ü But we would love to have a copy of that.

*katie said...

the Davis family is the best ever! We got to hear Marshal speak on Sunday and it was awesome! I remember him as a little punk kid:) Now he's just an older punk kid ;)

*katie said...

and I liked the page on FB

Thelissa said...

I want to win! Enter me!

And did you nephew REALLY have that on? Was it a set up or was he just "in tune" with the rest of you? That is classic! Love it!

Dransfield Diaries said...

Love that story. Thanks for always making me laugh!!

becca said...

With 6 boys I hope will go on missions, this sounds like a book I need. I liked it on facebook. Thanks.

Thelma said...

I would love that book.

Lisa said...

My boy gets home in 15 days. In fact, he'll be on a plane coming home from Brazil exactly two weeks from right now. Not that I'm excited or anything, but let's just say these two years with the Lord have made him into the kind of man that I am happy to present to the world. Sign me up~I have two more sons and a daughter to go. :):):)

Stefani said...

Well whether I win or not my son is getting that book for Christmas.

I loved the sombrero story! What a riot! Families really are the best.

Missions are also good! I went to Washington D.C it changed my life and made me who I am today.

Briana said...

Pick me! Pick me! (I have been called to serve in Indiana in 2 months!) This would be a very fun book to have!

Chris said...

My baby boy is preparing to go on his mission next year {he can actually send his papers in in July ~ eeeekkkk}!!! This would be a great book for him and our family to have!!! And thanks for the reat start to my day......what an awesome family!!!

Chris said...

*great

And I liked them on facebook!!!

Heather said...

yeah, was the mustache and sombrero coincidence or planned?

I've Liked on facebook and hoping I win.

Vern said...

Shoebox Princess: Duluth, Minnesota. Close to you?

Sherise: Holy cow, I hadn't read the back story! So glad you brought that to my attention.

Thelissa/Heather: It was total coincidence, NOT planned, which was why it was so fantastic!

Hillary said...

Those mustaches look great! LOL.
I have liked on FB too. :D

Buffy said...

Love that story. I want the book so here is my comment, but I'm not on Facebook, so does that exclude me? Pretty please...can I have it. I have six kids! They may eventually all go on missions because of this book! Please their future is hanging in the balance...of this book...what's it called again?

kjha said...

I liked that facebook page about the book and really, really, really want to win!

My question (as a former sister missionary) is if there are sisters in that book or if there's another version for them? Just wondering...

Vern said...

kjha: it features both men and women

heidster said...

I've already liked the book on FB because my son has a few pictures in her FABULOUS book. I love the idea and am so glad she put it together! Yea for Valine

mormonhermitmom said...

I'm impressed your family can still do grand airport greetings now that security is so tight! Love the staches!

pdx2012 said...

I'd like this book!

Lorie said...

I think I would have a better chance winning Lotto!

Hamlin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Suzanne said...

I would love the book!

This story reminds me of when my brother got home from his mission...it was PRE-9/11, so we could still go up and wait for them AT THE GATE. Well, we waited, and waited, and waited - and NO brother! Then the pilot and flight attendants deplaned also, and we asked if anyone else was left on the plane - NOPE! We asked them if they had seen a missionary on their plane - YEP! SO WHERE THE HECK WAS HE?!? We searched behind us in another gate area - and there was my brother, laughing his head off watching US! He had totally disguised himself - he had donned a full, gray beard, hat, hawaiian shirt over his shirt/tie, etc. and walked off that plane RIGHT BY US and we didn't even know it! The joke was on us.

Suzanne said...

I like it on Facebook (husband's account, since I'm the last one in the universe still NOT on FB!)

kdavis said...

I would love this book. I have one on a mission now and one trying to decide if he wants to serve a mission. Maybe this would help him decide.

Paige said...

So great! Love that you all wore moustaches!