Monday, July 22, 2013

In Preparation For "D-Day" (Departure Day)

When a young man turns 18 and after he has graduated from high school, if he is found worthy, he has hands laid upon him to give him the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, and to set him apart as an Elder in the House of Israel. This is a prerequisite prior to being set apart as a missionary.  For Jonathan this took place on 30 September 2012.

Next, and after a few more months of preparation, we held Elder Yan's and Elder Nine's Farewell in our Church service, which we call Sacrament Meeting.  This was on 21 July 2013.  They each gave wonderful sermons ("talks"), and in between them they performed a hymn together, I Need Thee Every Hour. It was a beautiful arrangement by Sally DeFord.

The next day, Jonathan and our family visited with our Stake President. That was the night prior to Elder Nine's departure for Utah where he would enter the Missionary Training Center (MTC).  This was a private and special meeting where not only did Jonathan receive the laying on of hands to be set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but we also had a wonderful time visiting and listening to Elder Nine being offered kind and loving instruction by our Stake President on serving his mission. As a mother, I really appreciate the part where he was counseled to FIRST write his mother each week, and never let a week go by without doing so. And not only write her, but give as many details as he can regarding his mission, so that his family can "live the mission alongside you as much as possible".  Clearly, there may be details he doesn't want or shouldn't share. That's ok. But where possible, share as many as he can. If he runs out of time to write others, that's fine. The "others" can read the news from Mom. But do not put mom off to the end, because then you may run out of time to write all the details and you'll end up telling Mom "Oh, I ran out of time, I'll write more later."  No. Mom comes first. All others will have to stand in line behind her. :)  And I have to say, Elder Nine has almost always held true to that counsel and promise. (He promised he would)  And that has made this mother's heart be able to handle this separation a bit easier. I also feel it is helping to build our relationship further, as his family is first in his mind, and he is constantly on our minds.

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