On Tuesday, July 31, our son was set apart as a full-time missionary for our church. Here is a picture of the group of boys we've seen a lot of at our house for the past two months:
|Craig, Chris, Tay, Ryan, Logan giving "The Smoulder"|
|Ryan, Chris, Jace, Taylor, Craig, Logan, and Landon (above)|
Here they are after Tay was set apart. This was after the tears had mostly subsided. The Spirit in our home was strong.
Tay was blessed with many things, and after the stake presidency left, we gathered as a family (we consider these young men part of our family) and shared the things we remembered about the blessing as well as any advice we had with Tay, who wrote his thoughts, feelings, and impressions in his jounral as we went.
One of the things Tay was admonished to do was to share his experiences with his "dear sister," who is also serving a mission. That was sweet to me, as I pray that our children will be friends throughout their lives.
After Tay was set apart, he hugged each of the brethren in the circle (his dad, President Hansen, President Wilson, President Watson, Bishop Donat, Uncle Derek, Uncle Brant). Then he hugged me. Then he went straight to Landon and then to Ashtyn. More heart pictures.
We took some pictures. I love that the "big boys" let Landon (and encouraged him to) photo bomb their group pix.
Everyone left at about midnight. It was a long, sweet night.
At 5:30 a.m., Logan showed up at the door. Tay and Chris had planned to attend a temple session, leaving our home at 6:00. I went out to the living room to get the door. Tay had beat me to it, and he and Logan were hugging when I got out there. I heard Logan say, "Is it OK if I just hang here till you go?" Friends are so important, and we are grateful for these fabulous young men, who have really lifted and encouraged one another. We've loved Logan since he was about 3. We met Chris when the boys were in 3rd grade. The others are high school/choir buddies, and they are seriously wonderful. There are many more like them, all of whom are either on or preparing for missions. Extraordinary!
It hasn't been quite 24 hours since we left T at the MTC. It wasn't as hard for me to leave him as it was to leave Bri. I think mostly that's because he was SO ready. I know he was nervous, but he was also ready and anxious to go. We stayed busy yesterday. Landon cleaned Taylor's stuff out of "his" room (mostly). Yesterday was just a beautiful day, filled with gratitude for so many blessings.
But today? Today I'm wondering what our son is doing, who he's with, if he slept, how he's faring, if he's getting along with everyone, etc. My heart aches a little. I hope there will be a letter soon.