Nick was born in 1989, three months before his due date weighing, 2 lbs 9 ounces. Two days after his premature birth, holes were blown in his lungs (due to excessive ventilator pressures) and stopped his heart. CPR was administered and his life was spared, but the result was a traumatic brain injury.
This entry is not a story of his life. I'll share that another time. Instead I will tell you his life is a witness of the power of the Priesthood and love of our Father in Heaven. In time, Nick learned to walk, to talk, to read and write and many other things the doctors said he may never do. Yes, he has mild cerebral palsy on his left side and a diagnosis of NLD (nonverbal learning disorder). But with faith and prayer, sweat and tears, he grew, progressed in the gospel, earned his Eagle Scout award, and graduated from high school with a 3.4 GPA.
Then he turned in his mission papers, and waited for his call.
And waited. And waited.
And as he waited, we began to fear that something was wrong.
Finally one day the letter came, not to Nick, but to the Stake President . . . honorably excusing him from full time missionary service. He was shattered. We were shattered. How could this be? He was our miracle boy and we had known his whole life that he would serve a full time mission. We knew it like we knew God lived and the Church was true. And we believed we had been preparing him his whole life.
The Stake President wrote a letter. Nick was sent to LDS Social Services for an evaluation. And we waited again. But this time while we waited, we emphasized the active part of prayer and faith. We had been given a second chance to prepare him, and we went to work in our home to qualify him in every possible way for missionary service.
Blessings came along the way. We were guided to a means of reducing his stress and anxiety without medication. He was able to complete a college course on-line. And we were prompted to help increase his confidence in teaching by making the Teach My Gospel Missionary Training Cards you see on this site. The first set was homemade. With pictures cut from the Church’s missionary pamphlets and key words and concepts from Preach My Gospel, I created the card sets so Nick could practice delivery and gain the confidence he needed to share the Gospel message. He practiced every night with his father, a returned missionary from the Japan Fukuoka Mission.
Finally, in October of 2008, Nick received a call to serve as a full-time missionary in the Florida Tallahassee Mission. He entered the MTC on December 18th.
Missionary Training Cards to several youth preparing
to serve missions, as well as our daughter who was called to serve in the Korea Seoul Mission. They have been used as a tool to solidify Gospel concepts and increase confidence in sharing personal experiences and bearing testimony. One young convert who had received a call to serve in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission told me he barely knew the Gospel himself. He appreciated learning with the cards as he practiced delivering the lessons to others before entering the MTC.
The original cards were time-consuming and expensive to make (as the pictures were all copyrighted.) I have just recently created the downloadable set available for purchase at minimal cost with artwork from the public domain and photography that I have purchased the rights to.
I hope the Teach My Gospel Missionary Training cards will assist you as you teach your future missionaries to know and love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I also hope you will share your ideas for strengthening home and family and/or preparing our youth for missionary service on this blog.
“The home is the new MTC.”