MTC morning we woke up extra early to have breakfast together before the kids went to school. We had Nate’s favorite..french toast and buttermilk syrup. Scot, Nathan and I went to the temple and Grandma and Grandpa McEwan joined us in a sealing session with Hershel Pederson. He talked quite a bit about his time as a mission president in New Zealand. There were a lot of inactive or excommunicated members in his mission. He told his missionaries to be bold and tell these struggling members that their relatives were waiting for them to become active and temple worthy so they could do their temple work. The missionaries challenged them to pray to know that it was true and many were visited by spirit ancestors, confirming that it was true. It changed lives, and wards and stakes popped up everywhere. He said missionaries must be bold and think outside the box; not to be afraid to follow the spirit and do things differently. He challenged Nathan to memorize 2 Nephi 32:9 and to consecrate everything he did to the Lord. If he did, the Lord would take care of him on his mission and when he came home. He would be successful in school and his occupation and even find a better wife than he could on his own:) We felt blessed to have been there.
We came home and started checking kids out of school and pulling things from Nate’s suitcase so that it wouldn’t be heavier than 50 lbs. Not an easy task. We went to lunch at JCW’s and Nathan had his first experience with a stranger talking with him because he was a missionary. He was so excited for him. He had some advice, wished him well and told him to “Give em heaven.”
The 20 minutes before Nate was to report to the MTC we spent across the street at the grassy area, in front of the temple, taking pictures and video. We each talked about what we have learned from Nate and he gave the kids advice. We talked and laughed and hugged and it was time to go. As we pull up to the curb two elders came to the car, introduced themselves as they pulled the luggage out. Scot and I gave Nate a final hug as the boys yelled, “I love you Nate” from the car. One final look and he was off to his new life. It probably took less than 3 minutes. It is exactly how I expected it to be and I can still see his facial expression before he turned away.
What I wasn’t expecting was the overwhelming feelings I felt as I got back in the car and began to silently cry. It was so overpowering. I felt such great love for him and heartache for the fact that I could not be with him for the next two years. I realized that Parker and Justin were struggling with their own feelings and the tears were flowing. Scot was quiet and Jaxon and Brennon expressed sadness. When we got our emotions under control we talked about the things we could do to support him and show him our love. I know there will be times when we miss him terribly but we are so excited for the growth and strength that will come to our whole family during “our mission.” We are already waiting impatiently for a letter from our missionary.