Most people love their parents, right? What isn't to love about 2 people who give you life, and then sacrifice their life to teach you, love you, care for and nurture you?
Well, I LOVE my parents. I always have. I think they are amazing. I admire them for raising a large (8 kids!) family in California where people thought they were crazy. They sacrificed infinitely to teach me the importance of education, family, church, health, art, music, etc. They literally gave me every opportunity to grow and develop, to learn about my interests, to serve, and generally to become a better person. Whatever things I accomplish in my life, I have my parents to thank.
A little over one year ago, they were called in to see President Monson, then the first counselor of the First Presidency of the LDS Church. Because of previous interviews, they pretty much knew why they were there; they were going to be called to serve as a mission president. But can you imagine how their jaw dropped when President Monson said "you are called to serve in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa Mission."
If you know my parents, you know that they have spent a majority of their lives working people of prestige and money. My dad was a partner at one of the largest accounting firms and then spent years at BYU where he built the entrepreneurial program. In both capacities, he has sought out and worked with many people of importance. My mother has been right by his side in all respects, and often threw grand parties for those important guests. They did it all with style and grace.
Now they spend their days with the poorest of the poor. They work and labor with about 100 young African missionaries to find and teach the people who are seeking the gospel truth. They travel hundreds of miles every month to Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and to the heart of the African jungle. They bring along their camp stove, freeze dried meals, mosquito nets, and spend their days teaching, interviewing, and mostly loving the African people. Sometimes the road is rough....
...but I don't think they'd change their experiences for anything. They love the African people. They love the gospel. They want their missionaries to succeed. They trust them. They are there for them. They mentioned the other day that the work was growing and growing. They feel like they're having an explosion. Can you imagine why? I know why.
It's because they are TOTALLY AMAZING. I am so so so proud of them. Thank you, dad and mom, for being such a tremendous example to me, and to everyone.
You can read more about their adventures here.