Monday, March 25, 2019

Off To The Missionary Training Center!

And our boy is off and has started his mission journey.

The two nights before he left,
Chance and his siblings made a big bed out of blankets across the living room floor and 
had a slumber party.
There were treats, movies and lots of laughter. 

The day Chance went into the MTC, we all went out to eat together
before we dropped him off.
Going out to eat together is a tradition for many families that are dropping off a missionary
at the MTC.
Many families have quite a drive to the MTC so they eat on the way.  
Some missionaries who are coming from other states, fly into Utah instead of driving with their families.
Our drive was quite short so we got to spend the morning with Chance at home and going 
out to eat.
Knowing that these were our last hours together for the next two years, we were
all enjoying every second together. 

A goodbye to his younger brother.
A goodbye to his little sister
A goodbye to his big brother
A goodbye to his sister

Eventually the time came when it was time to part. You have
a time to arrive at the MTC based on your last name.
Saying goodbye to his dad
Missionaries arrive on Wednesdays so it is a series
of drop offs for most of the day. To streamline the
process, the long goodbyes are usually said before
you actually arrive at the MTC.

 One of the more popular
places to say goodbye, is a field across from the MTC
in front of the Provo Temple. That is where we parked and
got out of the van to give everyone a chance to say goodbye.
We did a family group hug, and then everyone gave
Chance one last squeeze. They were tight squeezes.

It was bittersweet. I was obviously going to miss him, but
I was also very excited for him and the journey that he was

Saying goodbye to me
If I could choose to have him stay at home, or have him go
on his mission, I would choose to have him go.

He made the decision to go by himself. He
is ready. He has prepared himself and it is time
for him to begin this chapter in his life.
I wore my cowboy hat in
honor of Chance.  We all had cowboy hats on actually, and they were all piled at the end of our table at the restaurant.  Chance wore his cowboy hat until he got out of the van in the parking lot with his luggage.  Chance elected not to take his cowboy hat with him. It is hard to keep a cowboy hat
in proper condition when all of your belongings for the next two years are packed into two suitcases.

Chance will be getting a hat in England. Probably not a cowboy hat, but a hat that blends into the culture of the English. It is probably a good thing that he is getting a hat there since his head is going to feel naked with out one.

There were a few tears of
course when we parted. We will miss him
like crazy. But as much as
we will miss him, we could
never hold him back.

A final farewell to the family and his cowboy hat.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Day Before Entering the MTC

The day before Chance went into the Missionary Training Center, we spent a last day together as a family. 
Chance wanted to get some scones at his favorite mountain town, say goodbye to some special people, and drive a car. He doesn't know if he will be driving a car for the next two years so he has been storing up his drive time.
But first, we  took a detour to the dentists office. Our visit the day before for a cleaning 
turned into a need to fill a few cavities.
I think it was a blessing we found those cavities before Chance headed over to England. 
Ain't no one who wants to deal with dental issues in a foreign country.

For Chance's farewell, I found this picture of him as a child and felt that it was a perfect way to 
capture the inner light that Chance has.
Plus, he just looks adorable.

Chance says goodbye

Chance wanted to visit the resting places of his great grandma and grandpa before he left.
The ground was covered in snow, and it was bit nippy outside, but 
the mountain valley was beautiful and perfect.
Chance feels a real connection to this little mountain town where 
his ancestors have lived for generations,
and it is a place that he visits on a regular basis.
We believe that families can be together forever. These people that 
we love and go through so much with in life, are connected to us forever.
We will see them again and resume our connection.
Death is not the end of the relationship. 
It is simply a pause in being able
to physically see them.
They are still with us and are a part of us even after they die.

Chance took command of the driving for the day

Chance had anesthetic at the dentists office, so we didn't let him drive on the way up, but 
he drove on the way home.
We saw 12 bald eagles on our drive.
That is a lot of bald eagles, and very fitting since Chance loves
birds of prey.
It was as if they had come to say farewell.

We will miss Chance like crazy. He is a light in our family and a 
England needs him now though and we can share him for two years.
The reunion after he is done will be sweet.
In the meantime, we look forward to hearing about 
his adventures in England and watching him spread his wings. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Final Preparations

So what has Chance been doing this week?

 Chance has been going to the dentist for a cleaning, having an open house to say goodbye to family and friends, and finishing up final preparations for a move to England.

Chance will be living in the Missionary Training Center for about 2 months to study Mandarin before he actually heads out to England, but his mission will officially start the moment we drop him off at the MTC.

We will miss him something awful, but we are so excited for him!

Some of the refreshments we served at the open house.
Chance visiting with family and friends one last time before he heads out to England