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Post-Mission, Not My Baby Anymore

By Karen Austin

I sobbed after dropping of my son at the MTC in July of 2017. I was not just grieving his absence for the upcoming 24 months. I was noting the end of his childhood. Mothers of previously returned missionaries informed me, “When they return, they are a different person.” Thomas Wolfe is oft quoted as …

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Long-Distance Parenting

By Karen Austin

Parenting long distance involves significant challenges.  My first child to leave home is serving as a full-time missionary in the Nevada Reno Mission. I’m particularly attuned to his absence, given that he’s just coming into his second Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home.  And he’s serving in a very small town in the most cold, …

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Daily Bread

By Emily Milner

AN ENORMOUS PLATE OF RICE sat in front of me, a mountain of rice, rice mixed with peas, an unidentifiable meat, and . . . ants? Yes, ants, the ants that marched many by many in Guayaquil, Ecuador. My food had already been blessed, but I blessed it again, fervently: ”Heavenly Father, I’m a missionary …

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Interview with Artist Brittany Long Olsen

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Please share some basic biographical information about your life, family-of-origin, schooling, your own family. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? When and how did you start recording your life with/in pictures?   What kind of reaction did you get from others – your family, friends, teachers, etc.? What …

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Earth, Wind and Rain

By Karen Austin

When my plane descends into the Salt Lake City International Airport, I usually experience some form of turbulence.  I’m a bit jostled in my seat, wondering how close we are to the ground at this point. Through the window, I see white clouds smeared across sharp, blue skies. In the background, the low humidity puts the mountains into sharp focus.  As the ground rises up to meet us, I’m filled with a mix of apprehension and excitement. The Wasatch Front has that effect on me.

[Photo by Coty Creighton via Creative Commons]

I turn to see the newly minted Elder Austin looking at the fasten-seat-belt sign. He was set apart fewer than 24 hours from our descent. We’ve traveled from Indiana in order for him to enter the Missionary Training Center. While he wasn’t born here, he knows that I was—as were grandparents, great (and great, great) grandparents, as well as scores of other relatives. The landscape has been altered by their labor and by fragments of their bodies.

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Rewritten

By Valerie Owens

I keep coming back to Russia; the way the white sky seemed to close in on itself after an endless stretch of sunless days, the spires of Russian Orthodox temples piercing through that white sky, and the feel of sunshine after too long without it. I have myself convinced that if I can somehow take …

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Good Sees the Truth, but Waits

By Jes Scoville

I. I FIRST MET THE Rostov region of southern Russia as a missionary at twenty-two. I spent a year and a half wandering the streets, talking to strangers about Jesus: to the woman from Poland, her glasses tied around her head, as she pushed pieces of watermelon into a mason jar; to the woman who …

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Reluctant Sower

By Dalene Rowley

LAST NIGHT AFTER MY OLDEST SON, Luke, went to bed, I knocked on his bedroom door. “I need to give you a hug,” I said. I hugged him good night, wanting to sear the memory of that hug, and the few we have remaining, into my heart forever. Or at least for the next two years. …

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Finding Courage

By Nicole Trone

WHEN I MET SISTER RORDEN I felt dwarfed by her height, but I saw kindness in her toothy smirk. She seemed patient enough with me when I snapped a picture of her sleeping on the night train, so I felt sure we would get along just fine. When we arrived in Odessa, Ukraine, I couldn’t help …

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Book Review: 18 Months

By Emily Milner

18 Months Reviewed by Emily Milner 18 Months, edited by Melissa Baird Carpenter Published by Millennial Press, 2007 softcover, 171 pages ISBN 978-1-932597-46-2 $12.95 ONLY TWO PARAGRAPHS INTO READING Amy Ward McLaughin’s “The Butterfly,” from 18 Months, and I was a greenie again in Ecuador: “Bugs hovered and waded through the soupy air, and our …

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