Well, Sister Carr has officially entered the Mission Training Center!!
We drove her up to Utah on Monday and was able to spend a few days visiting with family and friends, finish up some shopping and enjoy some time with her alone before we did the big drop off at the MTC curb.
On Tuesday, while finishing up some shopping we stopped by the Sister Missionary Mall (it's actually a small boutique) to try and find another skirt. This is a great store! There are tons of skirts, blouses, accessories, bags and pretty much anything else you can think of for your sister missionary. I wish we had a store like this in Southern California.
While we were there we met a young return sister missionary that worked there who served her mission in Cebu Philippines. She spent time talking with AJ and gave her some great advice and shared with her some of her experiences while serving her mission in the Philippines.
I had heard from other parents who have missionaries serving that the hardest part of sending your missionary out was the dreaded "drop off" at the MTC. I often chuckled to myself when I heard this thinking that I would be much better about holding it together....it wouldn't be that big of deal. We are sending our child out into the world to serve others and teach the gospel. It was "only" for 18 months!
BOY WAS I WRONG!!!! When we woke up Wednesday morning there was immediately a feeling of anticipation. We knew that in a few short hours we would be saying goodbye for 18 months. AJ was quiet most of the morning as we went to brunch. We took her to Chipotle, one of her favorite places to eat. Afterwards we drove to the Provo Temple, took some pictures and enjoyed the beautiful weather. There were lots of other families at the temple with their missionaries, taking pictures and hugging their missionaries as they prepared to send them off for 18 months or 2 years.
It was comforting to see that we weren't the only family going through this experience.
|Mom and AJ|
|Dad and AJ|
As we drove up to the MTC, I could hear AJ in the backseat starting to sniffle. I didn't want to turn around in fear of completely breaking down myself.
|Driving into the MTC|
There were Host sisters and elders waiting on the curb to welcome the incoming missionaries as we drove in.
|Sister Ward greets Sister Carr as she gets a hug from her Dad|
I couldn't shake the feeling of loss, even though I knew exactly where she was and that she was safe and beginning something that would be one of the best experiences of her life.
I was reminded that this is what she has been prepared for and that it was time to let her go and let her follow the Lord's plan for her.
I know that AJ is going to be a wonderful missionary and I can't wait to read all about her experiences and share them with my family and friends.
If you'd like to write AJ her MTC address is posted here as well as her email address. She would love to hear from all her family and friends!!