After getting off the phone with the Bishop, I quickly felt inadequate for this talk. I haven't sent a missionary out, so I feel like a mom with her first baby in her arms looking around sacrament meeting, noting everything other people's kids are doing, and thinking, "My kids will never do that." Well guess what - they will. Since I haven't actually sent a missionary out, the things I have to say could be totally wrong, so anyone that actually has done it, don't laugh too hard at my lack of knowledge.
(I forgot about this part, but if I hadn't, this is where it would have been.)
When my brother heard I would be talking about this, he said I needed to share this advice:
-- Every Elder should know how to catch, kill, prepare, and cook various forms of waterfowl (I wasn't actually going to say this one, maybe mentioning that they should be prepared to use their special gifts and talents in creative ways, and be willing to learn more).
-- Every Elder should be well-trained in how to perform sweet BMX-like tricks on a non-BMX bike
-- It is absolutely critical that every Elder possess the courage and adventurism necessary to eat whatever is placed in front of them -- and then ask for more.
In our stake we had a Relief Society activity a month ago, and one of the classes likened preparing for a mission like getting ready for the Olympics. An Olympian doesn't start learning how to play the game when they are trying to get on the Olympics team. They practice for years to get to that point. With a mission, preparation doesn't begin 120 days out when mission papers are filed. It needs to start years ahead of that.