We have some very good friends whose son just received his mission call this week to the Dominican Republic Santiago Mission. He leaves July 18th and goes directly to the Spanish speaking MTC in the DR. You'd think this would be an announcement that we would all be used to, wouldn't you? Missionaries get called every day, right? So why I spent the entire day crying about this particular boy's mission call probably wouldn't have made any sense.
...everything lately makes me spend the entire day crying. :)
...this boy was the first one we met when we walked into the ward in August 2010. He was the first introduction we had to the young men in this ward, and he was a great one! I distinctly remember him holding doors open, saying hello to my daughters, knowing their names, and moving out of the way to let them get a drink at the drinking fountain first. He was polite and kind and courteous when we all needed exactly that. He definitely made a great impression on all of us, and he was part of the reason we instantly loved this ward.
...this boy is the first 18 year old to leave from our stake since the announcement in last October's General Conference from President Monson regarding the age change for missionaries.
...this boy is the first of the youth in our ward that we have come to know and love who will be finishing Eagle projects and Personal Progress, graduating from high school, and leaving for their own missions. I'm sure there have been other boys in our ward who have left on missions, but I haven't known them as well as I know this one.
I'm feeling an urgency lately to use my time wisely with these kids in my home and in our ward. I love all of them so much, and they are all becoming adults so quickly. I know that this announcement today and the upcoming farewell for this future missionary signifies the official beginning of the wave of future missionaries that will follow...from the Scout Master's little flock of boys, to the Young Women who are looking at so many new options for their lives, to the future missionaries in my own home. It is exciting and alarming all at the same time.
I'm so grateful that we have a boy like this one to look up to in our ward. I'm grateful for his amazing family and for the friendship we have with them that allows us to see and hear the details of this adventure firsthand. I'm grateful that the youth in our ward can look forward with anxious anticipation to the experiences he will write about and share with all of us. I love this missionary program and I love the youth who aspire to it.