Dive-Dive-Dive!

Dive-Dive-Dive!

Several have asked what it’s like being a senior couple serving in Africa. This is our attempt to explain. Living at home in Utah is much like sitting comfortably on the deck of a boat at sunset on the ocean. It is beautiful and serene. It has its adventurous elements, but is secure. You think you have a pretty good perception of reality. But you can’t know what you don’t see.

Perception above deck is only one side of the world.

Perception above deck is only one side of the world.

So you don scuba gear, sit on the side railing, hold your mask in place and tumble backwards off the boat into the MTC (not empty sea). You are 100% committed. Instantly, your whole world changes. You have entered a different dimension.

Having the right gear and training makes for a safe dive and an enjoyable experience.

Having the right gear and training makes for a safe dive and an enjoyable experience.

Once you push away from the surface and descend towards the reef below, you begin to see things that you could only imagine before – along with many, many things you would never expect. The pressure of the water against your skin, your controlled rhythmic breathing, the aquatic life, the vegetation, the coral, and all things oceanic makes this truly unique to anything you have ever done before. And your attempts to write home about this fail because those on the surface can’t understand the life of those beneath.

This is an eye-popping, stupefying experience never to be forgotten.

This is an eye-popping, stupefying experience never to be forgotten.

There comes a point on your mission that you find yourself suspended in the abyss amid the sea life and you realize you are experiencing an eye-popping stupefying adventure that can never be duplicated nor adequately described. You are completely vulnerable to the sea, yet you feel safe and confident. And you wouldn’t trade this for anything back home.

Thanks to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and your experiences in the Church, you can leave fully equipped for a great experience. What you may perceive as meager talents on the surface back home are magnified in this ocean of missionary service.

To those who might consider taking that first plunge off the boat, we urge you with all our heart to do it. Until you do, you can’t know what you are missing. And when you do, please talk to us before you submit your papers. We’ll help you know how to specify the Uganda Kampala Mission as your destination – for this mission of all missions is the Great Barrier Reef. Come and SEA.

9 Comments

  1. There is truly nothing like serving a mission – especially in the Uganda Kampala Mission. We have had the great privilege to serve twice in many of the countries that comprise that mission. We are forever changed, and eternally grateful for, our experiences and the relationships forged while serving. It is so difficult to convey in words the great adventure and blessing of serving a mission. Sometimes, it seems that only those who have served in the same mission can truly relate to the life-changing impact that comes from serving as a full-time missionary in Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Burundi. I hope more couples realize this wonderful new dimension available to them, that they are already scuba-certified, and that they will soon take the plunge!

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  2. And like a dive, you are intimately aware of the period you can be under, you feel a pressure to accomplish things before your time is up. You may lose track of time for a short instance, but it quickly comes back to you and you know you will finish and the experience will end. If you do it right you will remember the most important things forever and even after you are out of the sea you will remember how you felt while under, urgent, prepared, excited, moving forward.

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  3. What a fantastic and compelling analogy! I can’t wait for our turn to do BOTH!

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  4. Dad, I love your ability to create parables- meaningful, spiritual analogies that make what you’re describing seem more relate-able. I think we all have experiences in life like this- experiences and feelings that simply cannot be put into words. A mission is an amazing opportunity that not all of us have been able to experience yet, but there are other times in my life that have been life-changing and so important to me that they are hard to describe. My time in Sri Lanka was one of those times. Being in a third world country does things to your mind and soul and opens your eyes to what another part of the world sees. Another experience that is hard to put into words is being married to Kyle. I am so blessed and so grateful to have such a good husband, but how often do we try to publicly express those feelings? Not often enough.

    Kyle and I were just talking about your mission the other day. We were saying how it wasn’t long ago that your lives seemed so complicated, so distraught (which they certainly were). But it seems like once you left, once you took that dive, all of those things you were worried about only a few months ago disappeared. You suddenly weren’t so worried about personal matters and transitioned into being completely wrapped up in God’s work in Africa with those beautiful people. Taking the dive is the hard part- getting to the point where you know how to use the equipment, know enough about water safety and a little about what coral and fish you might see to fully appreciate what’s ahead. Anyway, I’m so proud of you both for putting your faith in the work and for holding strong to your decision to serve a mission. And now look at you, you’ve been out over 3 months and have already had a huge perspective change. Sometimes I wish Kyle and I could save up enough money to take our family to a third world country for a summer, but I’ve learned not to get caught up in wishes like that. There is a time and a season for everything and we will have our season of growth and exploration just like you one day. In the meantime, raising a family in this beautiful area is a daily adventure that I am enjoying with all my heart.

    Here’s to the beauty of the dives under the SEA!

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    • I’m not the only one who knows how to turn a phrase. Thank you.

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  5. What amazing insights. I love reading your posts and can almost feel your missionary zeal through them. Thank you for letting us tag along with you!
    Be safe,
    Debbie Dean

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  6. Really Appreciate this article, can I set it up so I receive an update sent in an email whenever you publish a fresh update?

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    • Yes, Tori. You can subscribe at the bottom of our home page. I just did it for you. Thanks for checking in.

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  7. Hi, I was laying on my couch completely overwhelmed with all the things that are going on in my life right now. I feel like I have been packing for 3 months, and I’m not done yet. We have movers coming Thursday. My daughter had to have emergency surgery, so I have had to help her for a few days plus moving to a temporary home, and building a new home…how can I do it all? Life here at home is just too busy. Your letter of “Dive” touched me to the core. How beautiful a description. As I laid here on the couch I didn’t realize that you wrote it. It brought me peace. I don’t really want to go to Uganda, but I envy your life over there right now. Your whole purpose is to serve others. Your life isn’t cluttered with all this other stuff. Your analogy encouraged me and I thought it was beautiful. Thanks for sharing…. You two are an amazing couple, and I love and admire you so much. Take care, love Lis

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