Trujillo Peru North Mission

Trujillo Peru North Mission
Amos de la Viña

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sister Cia Bates: guest blogger

Brother and Sister Bates have three sons serving missions in South America. One, Elder Drew Bates, is here in the Trujillo Peru Mission. I asked her to share her thoughts on having three sons serving missions for the Lord and the blessings of being a Missionary Mom.  

Elder David Bates, Elder Bailey Bates, Elder Drew Bates
When my husband and I started our sweet little family 20 years ago, it was often met with wonder and confusion from the outside world, but we both felt complete peace and assurance from our Heavenly Father that each and everyone one of these little ones had a very important mission to fulfill without delay. With 5 children in 6 years we got to experience many things annually--"What a cute Kindergarten graduation...again!" "Your 5th grade program sounds awesome! You don't remember the lyrics? Let me help, I know them by heart!" Baptisms, Priesthood Ordinations, Eagle Scouts, High School Graduations,...But through all that, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would be sending three missionaries off to South America all in the span of twelve short months.

Even from the time they were toddlers, we would make predictions using their ages and thought that maybe, possibly, we could have three missionaries out at the same time, briefly, but our predictions are nowhere near to the reality of three of our sons all serving together in South America for a year....

Our eldest, Elder David Bates, was attending BYU at the time the age change was announced. He chose to continue with his original plans to complete the semester at BYU during which he turned 19. David was called to serve in the Colombia Bogota North Mission from June 2013 to June 2015 and entered the Provo MTC on June 19th, 2013.
His younger brother Drew, 11 months his junior, was called to serve in the Peru Trujillo Mission. Elder Drew Bates entered the Lima Peru CCM 14 days after his brother on July 3rd, 2013 and will be serving from July 2013 to July 2015.
On February 20th, Elder David Bates & Elder Drew Bates' little brother, Bailey,  received his call to serve in the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission. He reported to the Provo MTC July 2nd and will serve from July 2014 to July 2016. 
Elder Bailey Bates reporting to the MTC
When David and Drew's little brother Bailey bore his testimony recently about what it has been like preparing for his mission, he said that he has learned that true service revolves around two principles: obedience and sacrifice. He said that he is prepared to accept his call, be obedient and make whatever sacrifices he needs to make to serve the Lord. I think he said it better than I ever could. Missions are about obedience and sacrifice. My three sons have chosen to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the truest and purest way they know how--by being worthy and obeying the Prophet's call to serve a mission. They are willing to sacrifice whatever they are asked to in order to share His message of love and salvation. How can I not do the same? They are my heart and my soul, which, for now, is scattered around different parts of South America. But how can I do anything but rejoice? I have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. I know that He loves each and every one of us individually and that He atoned for our sins so that we might find peace and happiness in this life and in the life to come. I know that the adversary strives to thwart that peace and happiness, but that we have the power of God on our side, and that righteousness does and will continue to prevail.

We experience so many blessings and miracles in our lives, individually and as a family as our children serve the Lord. One of those that I'd like to share, and is particularly close to my heart, is that my missionaries may be in a foreign country, but they have never forgotten their mother. I feel the power of their prayers every day. They always write their mommy first, no matter how full their e-mail box is. I get special letters and packages in the mail that they have to spend their birthday money to send. Before they left on their missions, they took the time to record messages for all of us for the special occasions they would miss, so on my birthday and anniversary, I get to put in a USB drive and see their beautiful faces and hear their messages of love. Just last week Drew sent home a package from Trujillo with a couple that were travelling to Utah for a visit. The presents were nice, but the lady said that Drew had told her that "You'll recognize my mother because she has the most beautiful eyes in the world." That was more than a message, that was a gift I will treasure forever. The week before last, David wrote this message to all mothers in his general e-mail that he sends out: "The thought this week goes out to all the mothers out there. I read Alma 57:19-21 and immediately thought of missionary work...I would not be out here if it weren't for the things that my mother has taught me from the crib on, if it weren't for her believing in me and never giving up, and I'd be very surprised if every missionary in the field couldn't say the same. Mothers are not just important, they're essential, and their role as teachers and nurturers is what moves this work forward. That should never be underestimated, and I don't think it can be overestimated. So I just wanted to say thanks." Their testimonies and their love help to sustain me.

The gospel is true, I believe in miracles, and if I follow the example of my sons and am obedient and sacrifice in service to my family and Heavenly Father, I know that all will be well, with me and with those I love. 
The 5 Bates…beautiful family