A couple of months ago in our presidency meeting Diana mentioned that the missionaries in our zone had a training in November and needed someone to prepare and serve them lunch that day. She was concerned because the different Relief Society presidencies in our stake had already taken a turn and there was no one left to assign this to. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I decided that this could be a great service activity for both me & my little kids. Yesterday, along with two women from the young single adult ward, we cooked spaghetti and cookies and served about 30 missionaries and leaders.
The day didn’t start off too smoothly. When we arrived at the church there was no one there, but there were 14 (FOURTEEN) two pound boxes of spaghetti. According to the nutrition information on the back each box held 24 servings. There were also 4 bottles of spaghetti sauce, each of which had 10 servings. I was very confused, wondering if we were feeding 40 people or 336 people!
A few minutes later the young woman in charge arrived. She had not realized that there were no pots to cook with at the church and had gone to the institute building to see what she could find. (Note to self: next time follow that prompting and bring big pots to a spaghetti lunch at the church!!) She seemed very surprised to hear that we would not need all 14 boxes of spaghetti. I’m still laughing to think of how much spaghetti that would have been!
We got all of the food set out just as the missionaries finished the first part of their training. They streamed into the cultural hall, happy to see that freshly baked chocolate chip cookies were part of the meal. Those cookies went fast!
We were all back in the kitchen when one of the adult missionaries came in and told us that we needed to come into the cultural hall so that the missionaries could sing their thanks to us. I didn’t feel like I needed to be thanked, but she was adamant and so we followed her.
When we got to the cultural hall, all 30 of those young men stood and launched a rousing rendition of “Called to Serve.” All I could think in that moment was that somewhere, on another continent, my young son is singing that same song to someone else. It brings tears to my eyes to remember it right now, and it made me flat out cry yesterday. An ugly-face cry, too. All I could think was—it’s not fair to do this to someone who’s son has just left on a mission! And I loved it.
I also loved that my little kids got a chance to both serve and then to eat lunch with the missionaries. I hope that this will help them feel closer to Jason, and also to think about being missionaries themselves someday.
When they can make someone else’s mom cry.
If you want to see what else is making me teary this morning, watch this.