A son or daughter serving a full-time mission generates blessings for the entire family. For the Ramirez family, there was never a question about Matthew serving a mission. His mother, Myranda Ramirez of the Biltmore Ward in the Phoenix Arizona East Stake, recalls that “it was clear early in life that Matthew was born to serve a mission. He was always gospel focused and very much embraced his church activities.” Sister Ramirez further elaborates that “as the oldest in the family, Matthew felt the importance of setting an example for his family.”
Myranda grew up in an LDS home that was not always active. When she and her husband Rick learned she was pregnant with their first born, they vowed to be an active “Forever Family.” They remained active and provided a loving home for all of their children. However, even a gospel-oriented family suffers hardship and the Ramirez family suffered a brutal one when Rick unexpectedly passed away. With the passing of his father, Matthew’s role as the oldest son and brother suddenly became much wider in scope. “He became the man of the house. He has been our Priesthood holder and protector,” says Sister Ramirez. “The one thing I did not anticipate when Rick died was that for the first time as a family, we would not have the Priesthood in our home, and how much we depended on that close relationship. That was a sobering realization.”
Now more than ever, Matthew wished to serve as a missionary.
Two years after the passing of her husband, Sister Ramirez submitted Matthew’s mission papers. In six weeks the much anticipated “white envelop” arrived. Just prior to receiving it, each member of the family rushed home each day to check the mail after their Bishop, Russell Perkins, informed them that their letter was on its way!
When it was time for Matthew to open his mission call, the family set up a Facebook live session, and invited family and ward members over to the Ramirez home. “We were all so excited and happy,” recalls Sister Ramirez. “We had donuts, hot chocolate and plenty of love in our backyard that night. We sang I Hope They Call Me on A Mission, and Matthew’s favorite, Be Still My Soul.”
As Matthew finally opened his letter, Sister Ramirez thought about her son waking up early each day to practice piano, read his scriptures, and say his prayers, preparing to serve his mission well. “He just seemed born to serve. He wanted to start a new tradition of serving a mission in the family. He wants all the kids in the family to follow his lead.”
Where was Elder Ramirez called to serve our Heavenly King of Glory? Georgetown, Massachusetts! The entire Ramirez family, including Rick, is proud of their missionary son.
*How did you prepare your missionary? Share your story with us by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it on our Facebook page (find us @BeehiveNews). We might contact you to print your story in The Arizona Beehive!
Story by Grace O’Brien, The Arizona Beehive