It’s hard enough having one son away for two years.
Try having three sons all on their missions at the same time.
That’s what mum Lee Peihopa and husband Victor Peihopa experienced when their sons Ephraime, Dante and Gianni all served missions at the same time.
Ephraime returned in May from Calgary, Canada while Dante returned from Quezon City, Philippines in July. Gianni is in Adelaide and will come home next year.
Sister Peihopa said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s awesome,” she said.
“Three kids on a mission. We did it and that’s because the Lord is blessing us. We really see the blessings, especially seeing how each of our son’s personal testimonies are strengthened. It brings us joy.”
The Peihopas have seven children, the two youngest are foster children. Their oldest Conrad also served a mission in Indonesia. Victor is the former bishop of Lincoln Ward and currently serves as the ward mission leader. Lee teaches in Sunday School.
“When the kids were young they always knew they were going on a mission,” Lee said.
“Church is just the way of life. It became our culture and they knew that.”
Lee and Victor are both converts to the Church so they were determined to give their children an upbringing they never experienced.
Being married in the temple and having children born in the convenant is the “greatest blessing,” said Victor Peihopa.
“We did everything we could to get our kids to youth, to church and to activities. We taught them to serve from a young age. They were hungry and tired but we would go out and visit the elderly and they would stop complaining. It’s the best thing we could have done.”
Ephraime said his parents never gave up on him.
“There were points on my life when I didn’t want to serve a mission. I didn’t want to it. They didn’t stop loving me. They always told me it would be okay and they taught me why I should live the gospel and how. Church was always something we did.”
Ephraime said on his mission he grew to love Heavenly Father.
“I was spat on and doors were slammed on me but one of the biggest blessings I could receive is to feel Heavenly Fathers love more abundantly in my life. I felt that with me on my mission.”
Their three sons have inspired Victor and Lee to do their own missionary work.
When they go out, Lee makes sure to tell everyone about her sons serving missions.
“The reaction is really good,” she said.
“And even better, we can tell our sons we are doing missionary work on our end too.”
While being a mission mum can be tough, Lee said she has only one responsibility.
“It’s not easy serving and our missionaries get tested. They are in a strange country and they are stretched and pushed to their limits. They get smashed to the ground so my job to pump them up!”
While they are happy their sons are serving and can see the blessings, Victor said it isn’t the main goal.
“The goal is not for them to serve missions but to help get them into the temple. I wouldn’t have loved my sons any less if they didn’t serve.”