When I left the United States to be a missionary in Brazil I knew that there would be some difficulties that would happen. One of those difficulties I thought through was “How do you deal with the death of a family member?” This has already happened to me. On July 9th when I woke up to a message saying that one of my grandmothers had passed away.
I had thought through two different options: Stay in Brazil or Return to the United States. This is a real issue that I am thinking through again. I absolutely love my grandmother and always thought it would be an easy decision but now that I am facing the decision there is no easy answer. No matter what I decide I will have some regrets.
As a missionary there are difficulties in the course of life that we will face. “The death of a family member” is a difficulty that I expected to have happen during my time as a missionary but I did not expect it to happen so quickly. Being away from family at this time provides a clear opportunity to trust and be comforted by Christ. I am struggling with my love for my earthly family, specifically my grandmother, and my longing for being with my heavenly family. Longing to be with my heavenly family has brought me to be in Brazil. As I am struggling with this difficulty I have had to find comfort in the scriptures. Specifically, I find peace that the scriptures that say leaving your family is worth the cost to share the gospel and follow Christ. Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, and Luke 14:26 all very clearly teach that being a missionary in another country is worth the cost. The difficulties and hardships are very real but so is the comfort that I find with knowing these scriptures. I am also comforted in knowing that my family is not limited to only those who are flesh and blood. The scriptures say that when you become a Christian you gain more family. Matthew 12:30, Mark 3:35, and Luke 8:21 all say that the Christians family is those who are doing the will of the Father. I am comforted by the knowledge that I am getting to know more family here in Brazil.