All night thinking of blessings

Last night was an exciting one at my house. My fourth son opened his mission call. Family and friends gathered around, some on skype from far away, some listening on the phone. He was nervous. Where would he spend the next two years? All three of his older brothers served missions. In fact, one is still serving in Hawaii and will not be home for a month. He tears open the call and reads to us out load, “Dear Elder Peck, . . . you have been called to the Finland Helsinki Mission.” Cheers spontaneously fill the air. He leaps for joy. Hugs. Yells. Facebook is updated. Emails are fired off. Everyone is excited. A globe is produced to see how far north it is. Wikipedia is consulted amid scores of little conversations that erupt all over the house. I wander from group to group like a lost child, randomly pointing out that Finnish isn’t in the Indo-European family of languages–just because I don’t know what to say in such an adrenaline fog. My wife chats in the corner with a friend over travel to Europe. Excitement. My son’s eyes are glowing and a smile won’t leave his face.

Last night I lay in bed feeling waves of gratitude washing over me, thinking about what a blessing this mission will be to my son, just as my mission was to me, and my other son’s missions were for them. I know there are challenges for him ahead. But right now I just want to say thank you to a church that gives its sons and daughters such a wonderful chance to serve; to go out into the world, do something worthwhile, to learn and grow, and to develop a deep and rich spirituality. Happy Thanksgiving Indeed.


  1. Pyhä fräk, pojallasi ei ole aavistustakaan siitä, minkäläiseen kylmään paikkaan hän on nyt joutunut. :)

    Sillä kävi tuuri, kyllä–ihan oikeasti.

  2. Amen! Congrats to you and your son.

  3. Naked sauna!

  4. Kathryn Lynard Soper says:

    Fantastic, Steve!!!!!!!!

    Scott, you’re making that up.

  5. Hawaii and then Finland.
    Can’t get much better than that.

  6. Congrats to you all!

  7. Tuleko Vanhin P Helsingissa? Uskamanonta!

  8. Tuleeko Vanhin P Helsinkiin? Uskomatonta! (Sori…)

  9. Congrats to your family!

  10. I have a missionary-related story about your son. One day at ward council the missionaries had been invited to participate. We rent ’round the room and when it was their turn one of them, from a prominent country in the center of Europe, launched into a lecture about the inappropriateness of 1) black ties and 2) black sportswear (Adidas jacket) while blessing the sacrament. It reminded him too much of a funeral. As I listened in disbelief, I thought about whom he could mean. And then I realized–SteveP’s kid!

    Anyway, it’s good to see he turned out ok after all. 8)

    P.S.–the bishop told the elder to worry about more important things.

  11. That’s great news, Steve!

  12. Peter, Thanks for that! That’s going into official family history. We miss Vienna.

  13. Wow, for some reason, I didn’t picture you as old enough to have a 4th mission-age son, Steve. (Not meant to imply you’re juvenile, just youthful and exuberant.) :)

  14. And thus Aaron you make my day.

  15. Congratulations!!

    I also had no clue you were old enough to have even one missionary-age son.

    Just out of curiosity, were you raised in a relatively small town in south Utah County?

  16. Thanks Ray. I hail from Moab, mostly.

  17. Oh, well. Thought for a moment we might have known each other in an earlier phase of life. Even though that’s not the case, I’m glad I know you now.

  18. Ah, yes, Ronan; that’s the one.

  19. congratulations. I really like finalnd…tough language. Does he already know Quenya, it could help? ;)

  20. Congrats. What a wonderful time for your family.

  21. CJ Douglass says:

    Congrats Steve – your son will enjoy mission cred for the rest of his life.

  22. Your post brought a smile to my face.

  23. I went to Finland. It’s a wonderful challenge!

  24. I also went to Finland, and loved it. Your son will have the exact opposite mission experience of his latin-america-bound friends. :-)

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