Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Night Before Service Begins

Tonight the journey begins for our family as we send another son into the mission field for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Family and a few close friends will gather in our home as our Stake President gives him a blessing to set him apart as full time servant of the Lord.

I don't know if it's easier or more difficult knowing what's ahead for us.  Tomorrow will be different than the first time around.  With Justin, we went into the Missionary Training Center and sat through a series of videos, then hugged and said our good-byes.  Soon after that, Utah had a terrible flu outbreak that prompted the "dropping off" of the missionaries at the curb.  That's what we'll experience tomorrow with Kevin.  Our Stake President has warned us to take advantage of the parking lot across the street from the actual drop off site to take what time we need to say farewell because once we pull up to the "curb", there will be people there to whisk him away before any of us has a chance to get out of the car.

They call this the "band-aid" approach - just rip it off and get the pain over with.

In the handbook that accompanied his official call, there is a section that reads, "Your service begins the day you check into the MTC.  Remind your family that complete separation from loved ones is part of the sacrifice that families and missionaries contribute to the work."  

That 'complete separation' is the part that nearly does in a mother.  No parent could leave their young man or woman in the care of complete strangers for two years, with contact limited to weekly emails or letters and a phone call on Christmas and Mother's Day without the testimony that the work is necessary and a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.  There is a song that was popular years ago among mission farewells titled, "In the Hollow of Thy Hand" which speaks of a parent's plea that the Savior keep the missionary safe.  Having sung that at my fair share of farewells, I'm certain I'll be humming it on the way home tomorrow.  Between sobs, of course.

The Bodily family - together for the last time for two years.

Kevin with Grandma Norma.
My Three Sons
Kevin and his only sister, Ivy
My beautiful kids!  So well behaved for the camera. . .

and then . . .
they act natural.

Kevin with his other family: McCade, Dayna and Todd Yates
Best friends:  Trevor Anderson, Ryan Corbett, Kevin Bodily, McCade Yates
(Dallin Blotter and Braxton Alldridge are already serving their missions)

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