It’s always a special time when a member leaves to serve a mission, even more special when five leave from the same unit within a few weeks and double special when they are all members of the same family! This was an experience that took place in the Ashton 2 Ward of the Ashton Stake.
Grandparents Robert and Pat Preston received a mission call to serve in the Hungary - Romania Mission. Three of their grandchildren, Camilla, Jake and Adam also received mission calls to serve in the Alpine German-speaking Mission, Barbados Bridgetown Mission and Zambia Lusaka Mission respectively.
Robert, Pat, Jake and Adam flew out to their respective missions on the same week as Camilla completed her language training at the MTC, entering the mission field the same week.
Robert and Pat are very familiar with missionary service, previously presiding over the England Manchester Mission and also the Preston Missionary Training Centre respectively.
However, serving a mission at the same time as their grandchildren surpassed those previous experiences and both grandparents were overjoyed with such a blessing.
Bishop Jordan Bell of the Ashton 2 Ward, joked that the ward had been decimated and was uncertain how the ward would cope, but he added “Having five members of our ward all from one family leave to serve missions in quick succession feels somewhat surreal. Most of all I am grateful for the example these five missionaries have set to our youth and primary children.”
Speaking of senior couple missionaries, Elder Holland has said: “What greater gift could grandparents give their posterity than to say by deed as well as word, in this family we serve missions!” Bishop Bell feels the same way about missionaries serving from Ashton 2 Ward. He said “By qualifying themselves and then accepting the call to serve, they are teaching by deed that, in this ward we serve missions! What a wonderful message for the whole ward and especially our young people, who we hope are planning and preparing to serve missions of their own.”
We wish and pray for each member of the Preston family, every success and good health whilst serving the Lord in the mission field.
It’s going to be some mission reunion to look forward to!