Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

For This Child I Prayed

Hannah, the mother of Samuel, and I have something in common.  We know what it's like to fast and to pray and to plead with the Lord for a son. Her petition was granted when she gave birth to a child who would become a prophet in Israel. The Lord answered my prayers in the form of a mission call. Maybe my faith doesn't quite compare with Hannah's, but I believe I have faith enough.

Neil has had a desire to give back. Heavenly Father has put so many blessings into his life in the form of increased abilities, strengthened faith, healing, and inspired, loving people who've helped him along his road to recovery . Doesn't it make sense that he would want to show his love and thankfulness to the Lord through actions?

Early this year, we decided to help him pursue a Church mission. Since he is not currently able to serve a regular, proselytizing mission, we found another way he could possibly serve as a missionary. He eagerly participated in countless evaluations and interviews to see if he would be an appropriate candidate for a special service mission. His final paperwork was submitted last Monday. After making a circuitous route to get to us, we got the official word on Sunday that Neil has been called to the Family and Church History Headquarters Mission in Salt Lake City for two years. He is to report to his mission on July 6th.

My prayers have been for Neil and his ability to be the missionary that he wants to be, but I've also prayed for myself. Neil's been working toward independence for some time now. He can do his own laundry, prepare some of his meals, shop for groceries. He can keep his room clean, clean the bathroom, clean himself. I'm glad he'll have some supervision--a kind mission president and some senior couples who will keep an eye on him and the other young missionaries. He's ready to leave home, but am I ready for him to leave me? For three years we've been inseparable. Quite honestly, it will be hard for me to let go and put him in some one else's care for a while. I am willing to make that sacrifice. As Hannah said, long ago:

"For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord." 


Anonymous said...

Oh, wow! This is fantastic news. Neil will make a great missionary. He loves the Lord and has a strong desire to serve. He will be blessed immeasurably, as will your sweet family. I understand how much you will miss your boy, especially given how attached you've been to each other over these last several years as you've given so much of your time, making sure that Neil's opportunities have been maximized. This is truly an answer to prayer - yours as well as ours.
Love, Michelle (sis)

Meghan, Carson and the Kiddos said...

Wow! We are so excited for you Neil! You will make a wonderful missionary!! I think we'll have to plan a few trips to the family history center! We are so blessed to have you as a member of our family...we love you Neil! Your hard work has really paid off. You continue to be an inspiration to us and you will do the same for all of those who you serve here in Salt Lake.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to hear this news! We, along with so many others, have been praying for "this child" and the rest of you guys. I think this will be a wonderful experience for Neil and will bless all of us. He is a great example for my kids as he chooses to go on a mission. Hopefully, we will be able to visit him!
Lots of love,
Jenni and family in AZ

DMac said...

What great news to the entire Stone family...especially Neil! You have blessed the lives of countless souls and you will continue to do so as one of the Lord's missionaries. It's onward and upward! Congrats!

Valri said...

That's wonderful, Lori! I'm so happy for your family and for Neil! He will learn a lot and will have the joy of serving the Lord! It's appropriate that I hear this news today as my nephew (Erik's son - you know, Courtney!) enters the MTC to go to Angola, Africa. We are so excited for me. How I love missionaries. Good luck to Neil!

Lanenga Family said...

We are so excited for Neil! What great faith you and your family have exemplified these past 3.5 years for us. We will miss you! Thanks for sharing. :)

HRP said...

It's great to see the young Deacon in my class reach this point! Congratulations!
Harland and Amy

Anonymous said...

I too, am quite fond of the story of Hannah (thus the name of Samuel for my first born)I can't think of a better offering to the Lord than your son's service for the next two years. Your whole family will be greatly blessed, but no one more than Neil. What a wonderful opportunity and experience he will have. The people he comes in contact with will be blessed, as well. I'm so happy for Neil. I was smiling all day when I got the news. We love you all so much!
Love, Angela and family

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news for both Neil and you, Lori! And your whole family too! It has been great to see Neil's progress over the years and so nice that he will be independent (with some help from kind people). You have both worked so hard. This will bring many more wonderful blessings for Neil and your family. Congratulations, Neil!! Love Julie