A week ago, we greeted our firstborn at the airport after not seeing him for two years (except for Skype on Christmas and Mother’s Day) as he served in North Carolina to bring people to Christ through faith, repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This was a long-awaited for day. I’ve known my whole life I would someday put my babies in the hand of the Lord for missionary service. I feel blessed to do this. I didn’t even cry the day he left. I know some moms do, and I thought I would, but I ended up not even crying a drop. I was surprised at myself because I can be very emotional. Sure I missed him, but he had already been gone a year before that to attend college so I didn’t have to cry when he left for his mission. I did tear up a bit when he hit the ground back home in Utah last week. His grandpa teared up a bit too, and that is saying something.
It seems like just yesterday that he was like this in my arms:
Then two years ago, the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, I sent him off into the wilderness to preach the gospel. This was taken the morning before he entered the MTC.
Then two years after writing to him every week, sending some packages, and praying daily for him and all missionaries and investigators, he came home and I got to hug him again!
Here’s how most of us first saw him after he got off the plane. I tell you, this was just as exciting as waiting for his birth, and a lot less painful! Thanks to my big brother for these amazing shots that show the story of his arrival.
Here he is after he saw his little siblings, waiting to be pounced on:
They mobbed him. In case you can’t tell, those are three little kids glomming onto him. I didn’t know if the youngest would remember him, as firstborn left when the youngest was 2 to go to college, but he did!
Son #2 caught up to him in height.
Here he is with my husband. Husband saw this picture and asked, “Who is that?” He didn’t recognize the back of his head, he thought it was Sister Timothy from our ward. 🙂 Apparently he doesn’t know what a gorgeous, curly mop of hair he has. He’s been letting me give him haircuts lately so I know the back of his head well.
We are so glad to have him back! A new chapter in our life has begun. I look forward to more missions and now, weddings. Having him come home was like childbirth, there was a ton of physical preparation to do to make room for him and spruce up the home for our open house to welcome him and his friends and family.
Here’s returned missionary son with his cousin and cousin’s wife. They got married while he was gone. The cousin served a mission to Brazil, following in his dad’s (my brother’s) footsteps, who also served in Brazil.
I was thinking a lot about that and how all of life is a lot of preparing. Getting ready for meals, events, holidays, etc. Ultimately I am preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ and my interview with him, as Elder Russell M. Nelson states that we will all be personally interviewed by the Savior. I’ve decided that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of preparation. It’s following the Holy Ghost every day to prepare for temporary separations and reunions and ultimate togetherness with those you love. I am so grateful to get this practice of physical preparation for the time when the Savior comes on the earth again.