Saying Goodbye to My Missionary Son…and Hello to a New Chapter!

 

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Wow, we recently came back from a whirlwind trip to Utah to take our 18 yr old son to the MTC in Provo so he can train as a missionary to preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in Argentina. It all seems so surreal.  To quote the sentimental line from Fiddler on the Roof, “Is this the little boy I carried? When did he get to be a man?” I can’t believe 18 1/2 years have passed since he was this cute chubby boy who was so easy to care for. The picture below was when he was just a few days old, in my bedroom, where he was born. He was such a peaceful, happy, easy baby! He’s always been so adorable!

When you are a Latter-day Saint mom, when/if you give birth to a baby boy, it’s like  a time bomb is ticking. You know you have 18 to 19 years of time with your baby to prepare him. Then he hopefully might be gone for two whole years, on a proselyting mission, carrying a piece of your heart inside him as he shares the good news of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I hope and pray he will be safe and find hearts prepared to hear this good news. Here are some photos from our trip to say goodbye! My heart is tender as this is the first Thanksgiving and Christmas that I haven’t spent with my son.

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Here we are in front of my childhood home.

 

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Here he is with his foster parents, Don and Aneladee, in the picture below. They generously let him stay in their home after we moved to AZ. He wanted to stay in UT to finish his senior year of pre-college educational pursuits.

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Here are some of his friends at his farewell.

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The picture below shows Shauna, a dear family friend who I’ve known since Dallin and her son were both 1, through our group of friends known as Veggie Gals, talking to Aneladee and my second cousin Jorgina. Jorgina and I share a great-grandmother. Our grandmothers are sisters. We just discovered that about 2 years ago.

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I asked Shauna to tell her sourdough bread toast on fire story. She really got Aneladee and Jorgina laughing!

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Dallin’s cute third cousin, Lydia, is pictured below. She’s Jorgina’s daughter.

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Some of Dallin’s awesome friends. The middle girl’s grandparents used to serve as the mission president of the mission where Dallin is going. She is also going to serve a mission in Argentina, but in a different mission.

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More of Dallin’s many friends.

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The next night we had a Family Home Evening with our extended family. Here he is with some of his cousins and his brother and sister.

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These cousins enjoyed sharing stories about missionary work! They have served in North Carolina, Ecuador, Brazil, and Holland. One other is currently serving in Virginia. They will all be together again in two years! What a happy day that will be!

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My mom prepared a special farewell dinner the last night he left. She’s wonderful that way. We also had a special dinner earlier that day with Dallin’s other grandmother. She’s awesome that way too.

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Dallin with most of his siblings and half his cousins on my side. I am sad my older daughter was already back to Idaho for college.

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Farewell Elder Shumway! We are rooting for you and are striving to live the three points that Elder Oaks shared in his recent General Conference talk for all members to help in missionary work.

  1. Pray to have a desire to help with missionary work. (As Elder Bednar stated, the missionaries are ideally the teachers and the members are ideally the finders.)
  2. Live the 10 Commandments.
  3. Pray to know what God would have you do individually in your situation.
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