Staying Connected

As a result, parents all over the world are faced with the prospect of losing their sons and daughters for a time, often without really knowing what to expect. Betty Pearson was one of these parents. "The year before my oldest son was going to go on a mission. I didn't know anybody that I could ask about how to prepare," says Betty. With her closest sister in Idaho, long-distance phone calls were an inconvenient solution for the mother of seven. There had to be some other way to find the support she needed. Years earlier, when her friends had gone their separate ways, moving wherever life took them, they had set up an email group to keep in touch. With the help of Karl, her computer-literate husband, Betty was able to extend the idea of the email group she had been a part of to create the LDSMissionaryMoms.com website. There, mothers of full-time missionaries can connect with each other, giving advice about how to prepare for missions, sharing stories about their missionaries, and providing comfort in times of need. Since the site was set up in 1997, it has proven to be a tremendous help to mothers all over the world. One mother was very anxious after her son received a call to the Ivory Coast, Abidjan mission--a mission in Africa that no one in her family had ever heard of. A neighbor told her about the missionary moms email groups and she was able to communicate with other moms who had sent sons and daughters to Africa. "As my understanding grew because of my communication with these other mothers, the world seemed to become smaller and I knew that I would survive, and so would my son," she says. The Pearsons have now been managing the site for ten years, and they don't often mess up, but even when something slips past them, it seems to bless people in unexpected ways. A mother who joined the list found that she had accidentally been added to the Eastern United States group instead of the Eastern Europe group, and before the error could be set straight, she had received an email from another mother who knew a family from the area where her son was serving in Poland. The mistake made it possible for her son to contact the family in Poland and the two mothers fasted together, praying that the family would be open to the gospel. Moms from all over the world have gotten connected through the Pearsons' website. So far, eleven people have been baptized because of the wonderful influence it has had, and many more have formed life-long friendships. Another missionary mom expressed her gratitude for the website and says, "I think that I am comforted by knowing I am not alone and there are many families out in the world who are missing their children while being so grateful that their children are where they are supposed to be."
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