A Letter To A Very Dear Friend....

June 23, 2011

To my dear friend and fellow Warrior Mother;
(You know who you are...)
Today I left our temporary home for my morning walk/run.  There are so many beautiful places for a
morning walk here in Provo....but I found myself returning to the place I know so well...
the grounds of the Provo Temple.  It is familiar to me...and to you too;)  Each morning while I walk/run,
my mind fills with great memories of the time The Farmer and I shared here.  The Winter's that seemed
so long...the Winter's that were so long....the most wonderful Springtime that anyone could imagine...
hope for the future...hope for children....the loss of a child....a new job....a big move....
and the start of our lives together.  It really was the best of times!
Today the streets seemed extra busy...there seemed to be more people moving about....and then it hit
me.  Today is Wednesday...the day the new missionaries are welcomed into the MTC!

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It was only 18 years ago that we...as new Moms...sat our little firstborn sons next to each other on a couch.
We were pretty smitten with those boys...and I think we still are....
I think we always knew that they would be friends...and we knew that missions were certainly in
their futures...but did we know that it would come so fast?  How could we have known?
I am so grateful that they are friends...that they have been friends their entire lives.  I am grateful that
they can depend on each other...that they trust each other.  I am so grateful that they are embarking on
this next experience...together. 
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Back to the morning walk......
The morning was fantastic!  The weather was beautiful! 
The field below the temple was filled with missionaries...playing soccer....baseball...jogging...
and all smiling.  I know they mus be scared...but they are full of faith...they know that they are doing
the right thing.  As I looked into the faces of each of the young missionaries...as they passed by...it hit me that
it won't be too much longer that your boy will be one of those on the field.  And you can imagine...
I started to cry...and so I sat down on the lawn in front of the MTC to gather myself. 
When my eyes cleared a bit...
I looked up and witnessed one of the most touching sights I have ever seen in my life.  Through the fence
I could see a car parked...and a family working together to unload the suitcases of their son and their brother.  He was dressed to perfection!  His suit was new...his hair was trimmed...he looked just as he
should to enter the MTC.  At that moment to other young missionaries approached the family....I am
sure their alotted time was nearly gone....there were lots of handshakes...lots of pictures being taken...
lots of tears.  And then the sibilings took their turn...hugging their brother tighter than I am sure
they had ever hugged him.  And more tears....(I am just sure that all who passed me thought I had lost
my  mind...sitting there in the grass...weaping.)
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And then came the parents...together they held their son, their arms wrapped tightly around him...
I can imagine that they weretelling him how very much they loved him...and how proud they were of him.  I am guessing that some last minute advice was given.  They clung to each other.
Then the young missionaries stepped in and took the young man by the arm and led him through
the doors of the MTC.  The family loaded into their car...slowly backed out and very slowly left the MTC.
All the while watching out their windows until their son/brother was completely out of their sight.
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I am sure it was just like The Farmer described when he sent The Boy's mission papers in...
that as parents we were laying The Boy on the altar....just as Isaac, with complete faith that The Lord
would take it from there.  That sweet family layed their son on the altar today...just as we will both do
soon.  Once the family left the MTC....another car entered...and the same scene played out again.
Tonight a Mother is crying herself to sleep...I bet the Dad is too...but he won't let anyone know.  A hole
has been left in the family...the young missionary is overwhelmed...I am sure that he too is sheding
tears as he falls asleep, missing what has been so familiar to him...his family.

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I wish everyone could see what I saw today.  To be able to sit back and watch, and soak it
in was a great blessing to me.  Certainly you were first in my thoughts...as this experience is heading your
way very quickly...in this very location. 
 It will be an incredible experience for your missionary boy...and your family. 
Just be sure to take a good supply of kleenex..;)
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All pictures were taken around the MTC and Provo Temple today.  I especially love the sign..."do not write on the sidewalk".....I guess people were leaving messages for their missionaries written in chalk...all along
the sidewalk....people are creative aren't they?!
You have been a Warrior Mother...you have prepared your boy well.  He is a great young man and will be
an amazing missionary.  "Fresh courage take"....my friend....it is going to take everything we've got to
get through this next step.....
Sending Hugs from the lawn in front of the MTC!

8 comments :

Alice Wills Gold said...

Gorgeous photos. Just gorgeous. As always, but these were definitely closer to home for me.

What a touching post.

It made me cry.

And I don't even have any sons.

Lisa Johnson said...

This picture of the Provo Temple is absolutely gorgeous and looks like something the Church would use as a professional picture. STUNNING! I remember what it was like to walk through the doors of the MTC as a missionary and and watching my family walk away. It's hard, but OH SO WORTH IT! Serving a mission (in Slovenija) was one of the hardest yet most rewarding things I've ever done in my life. Thanks for sharing your perspective on watching those MTC moments.

Kimberly & Kids said...

Shelley,
That's exactly what happens at the MTC when you drop your son off. I did that just over 7 months ago and two other Missionaries wisked my son away. He never looked back. We went Forth to Serve. I bawled!

skinners said...

I experienced the scene you described when we took my brother to the MTC years ago. It's a sweet memory that I will never forget. Especially tender was your description of those parents embracing their son, giving him some last advice before parting. Since my dad passed away while my youngest brother was on his mission, the curbside goodbye was their last in this life.

I'm in tears. What you shared is so touching and I have snuggled this new little boy of mine, pondering what the future will bring. I hope he will be as prepared to serve the Lord as I'm sure your son is and that as his mom, I can have some part in it.

What a wonderful post. Thank you!

Sweet Notations said...

Shelly,
I dont know if you remember me, but I am Mindy Bailey Thompson. I found your blog one day and I have been seeing your Jordan prepare to leave!! My Jordan leaves on the 27th of July to the Phillipines!! Thank you for your sweet insight, it has really touched my heart as i prepare to send my Jordan out too!!
Mindy

Cathy said...

Been there, done that with Angie, Brandon and Darron!! (Preston went to the Mexico City MTC.) You discribed the feelings very well! It's that "miserable joy!" LOVE IT!

Trisha said...

They treat you so well at the MTC. It was a precious experience for us and will be for "the boy' as well. We got to meet 21 of our future missionaries. Can't wait to see them again in the very near future. Some mission president and his wife will be waiting with 'OPEN ARMS'. Take care and thanks for sharing.

Pedaling said...

Doesn't happen often when I read blogs. But this one got me. The tears rolled down. I would have happily joined you on that patch of grass.

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