My father and mother have served three full-time missions together. Prior to that, Dad served a mission in Germany and numerous stake missions.
My parents served in Yerevan, Armenia. They helped so many people there. Dad helped get heaters working and did all kinds of physical labor service. They both loved and served the people. But their visas never came through, and so they were transferred to Kharkov, Ukraine. There they continued to serve and love the people of that country.
For their next mission, they were called to oversee the building of the Kiev Temple. Unfortunately, that did not happen during their mission, but took another ten years. Once they met a man who told them of a senior couple who'd been called to oversee the building of a temple in Ukraine, but who had failed in their assignment. My mother said, "Oh? That would be us!" Did they fail? Of course not. They weren't in Kiev to help prepare a temple for the people, but to help prepare the people for a temple.
Their last mission was to Samara, Russia.
They have numerous stories. They touched thousands of lives. That's the way with missionary work and it's ripple effect. Dad was in mission presidencies. They suffered extremely cold conditions and had meager amounts of food, and they traded their comfortable big home for small apartments.
I'm proud of my parents and the example that they've set for me and for the legacy they've given to our family. Dad was (and still is) self-employed and he's exhausted all of his savings to serve the Lord. Between each mission, he'd earn enough money to go serve again. Now nearly 82, he still is working. (1-25-13 He turned 83 last November.)
They have been temple workers for many years. Mom is sad that her current health won't allow her to serve in the temple, and hopes to be able to return again. (1-25-13 Lately, they are both serving one day a week, no longer two.)
One of the greatest blessing of my parents life was attending the Kiev Temple Dedication. In the ceremonies prior to the dedication, they were able to visit with people from the four different mission areas where they served. The people were so happy to see them, and my parents were blessed by the love and gratitude they were shown.
God loves us. He loves all of his children. What a blessing it is that as members of His Church; we can serve each other at home and abroad. I'm thankful for missionaries and for missions. I hope that Bob and I will have the opportunity to serve together as well. (We have done so as stake and ward missionaries in the past. 1-25-13 I have been called as a ward missionary again.)