Friday, December 20, 2013

Of Snow and Farewells

December finally arrived and with it the chance for Emma to have her farewell and make final preparations for leaving on her 18 month mission to Villahermosa Mexico. It has been a long 4 months of waiting. The day of Emma's farewell was December 8th. The weekend arrived, along with grandparents and aunts and uncles. Unfortunately so did a freak snow storm. On December 7th, sunny St. George received 8 inches of snow. This was more than our poor little city could handle. It was announced that night, at the ward Christmas party, that church would be cancelled the next day because of the weather. Emma took the news in stride and we simply held a small get together for those who could make it.
After a long cold week, Sunday came around again, this time with sunny skies. Emma finally got the opportunity to give her talk in Sacrament and did a fantastic job. Afterwards we had another small get together with neighbors and friends. After being set apart Monday evening, on Tuesday the 17th we loaded up Emma and all of her stuff needed for the next 18 months into the van and headed to SLC for one last visit with family that couldn't make it the week before. Emma got to see her Aunt Jeana and Jan as well as her cousins Sarah and Josh and Josh's wife Cami. Josh also brought his friend Colton along to liven up the party. The next morning came and the time arrived to leave for the MTC. One last hug was given to Grandma and Grandpa and off we went. On the way we needed to stop and exchange some slippers for Emma at Kohl's. Much to her surprise she ran into Aunt Kathryn (Joan's sister). A tender mercy to be able to see one last beloved family member on the way. Tears and hugs were shared by Emma and Julie and then off we went. We arrived in Provo a few minutes early and pulled into the parking lot of the Provo Temple to say our last goodbyes. Things have changed in recent years when you drop off your missionary. Gone are the days of sitting through 30 minutes of the equivalent of spiritual water boarding. Hearing talks, singing hymns of the restoration and watching Home Front commercials in a room full of weeping families and their missionaries has been replaced with goodbyes across the street and curbside missionary drop off. Not high on emotion, but easier on the future therapy bills. We pulled in and each member of the family got a picture with our future missionary. When it finally came time to leave for the drop off, Emma said that there would be no individual hugs, just a family hug. She thought that would be easier on all concerned. She was ready and just wanted to go with as little sentimentality as possible. Perhaps we shall call her Sister Mary Poppins.
We then made our way across the street to the MTC. We pulled in and were greeted by dozens of smiling, happy missionaries. We pulled to the curb, where Emma, Julie and Kyle got out and gave one last hug and goodbye. She was then swept into the MTC and off on her 18 month adventure. Although the family will miss her, we know that she is truly about her Father's business. We felt the Spirit of the great work she is embarking on and know that what she is doing is right. Via Con Dios Hermana! Till we meet again.

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