My little brother Aaron flew out here to Utah Sept. 20 and we have been busy getting him ready ever since. Talk about stress! I've been half out of my mind with going to school, soccer games, kid stuff, and trying to keep up house on top of getting Aaron ready.
My other brother flew out a few days ago to see him off as well and he was a big help. He taught Aaron how to pack and was very patient with him in teaching him how to iron his shirts. Jay is very anal about his shirts I have learned, and he made Aaron a special bottle of stain-remover that was portable.
We did a family get-together with root beer floats on Monday night and everyone got to say goodbye to Aaron.
Tuesday we three siblings went to the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, picked up his suits from the dry cleaners, and took Aaron to Walmart for some last minute things.
"Aaron, are you absolutely sure you won't need this?"
"YES! I have plenty! Stop! I have enough stuff!"
"Ok, but let's get some more just in case."
(Aaron rolls his eyes)
This went on and on. That boy is stocked. He is like the walking pharmacy and personal hygiene store.
So then the big day was Wednesday. I had classes and so went directly from class to the MTC (which was awfully convenient as it is directly across the street!--hee hee) I was a nervous wreck. Peter said to take a pill.
We took the standard pictures in front of the sign in front and then went in where Aaron got his tag and a family member is supposed to put it on him. I let Jay do the honors. Aaron was even more nervous than me, though I was doing a pretty good job being nervous for him. Aaron remembers that we forgot to buy him a watch. I tell him I'll send him one soon. Do you want black or silver? He doesn't care right now.
We went into the chapel there and watched some tear-jerking LDS commercials for a while to entertain us while we waited. Peter was already teary-eyed. He is so excited for Aaron I can't believe it. I think it was very sentimental for Jay and Peter to be there in the MTC again. I didn't cry. I would be strong.
The opening song was, "Called to Serve"-- what are they trying to do to us? Jay was losing it now. Then came the talk and the movie "Called to Serve"--what the heck???!
They used the analogy of saying goodbye like ripping off a band-aid. Do it fast and it hurts less.
Then came the great parting. Mom's saying goodbye to their sons. Siblings are sobbing. Dads are crying. Missionaries are crying. My little Sarah girl is crying. Guess what? I cry when other people cry. My friend Diana says it is the best kept secret in the church how hard it is to send your missionary out. She has done this three times.
I told Nathaniel we are just going to drop him off at the front door--
Aaron was the only missionary that hadn't been set apart yet, so when they sent people through the "family exit" we stayed together. As if we weren't emotional enough we had to go with him into the presidency office where a member of the presidency talked with us and counseled Aaron. Then Peter, Jay and my Grandpa Johnson joined in with the setting apart. We all watched Aaron receive the responsibility and great privilege that it is to be missionary, and a representative of Jesus Christ.
Aaron was crying and just really having a hard time. Poor Sarah is very upset now. Jay is crying. I am crying. You feel a little bit like you are abandoning them there. It is a very bittersweet moment as we watched him head down the hall all by his lonesome. As we walk out Rebecca says, "I already miss Aaron."
Went to the creamery for ice cream afterwards. I had to rush to my next class where there is always a quiz at the beginning. I look slightly better than death.
Come home, take girls to their last soccer games, Peter takes Jay back to the airport.
When I got up this morning the house felt a little empty. I think I'll write him a letter...