It was so nice to be invited and included in Michael Hodgman’s setting apart as a missionary last night.
Today he is officially Elder Hodgman and will go by that name for the next two years serving the Lord in Brazil. I guess he’ll technically go by the Portuguese version of Elder Hodgman, but you get the idea.
I should have taken a picture of Michael looking tall and handsome and already invoking a cute missionary smile. Since I didn’t get any pictures I liked this google image showing the priesthood ordination.
Watching this group of men I admire lay there hands on Michael’s head while President Hodgman set his son apart as a missionary is a touching experience! The priesthood is powerful and I’m grateful to have opportunities like this to see it in action!
I read a book once where a nonmember described Mormon missionaries as young men who, while in the process of converting others, usually become true believers themselves. And, she was partly right. While the goal of a mission is certainly to bless the lives of people all over the world, hopefully by sharing the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, missionaries often solidify their own conversion while reaching out to others.
As Michael works hard and is obedient, his testimony will grow and he’ll return in two years with confidence and maturity. It’s amazing to watch the transformation of missionaries and especially when you’ve known them most of their lives. I’ve had other Seminary students serve missions but Michael is the first (and probably only one unless Jenae serves a mission) that I taught all four years of high school.
In high school Michael grew at least a foot his freshman year. So now his physical growth may be complete but during the next year (or two) his spiritual growth will soar! It’s one of the miracles of missionary work!