Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We did it

Packing a missionary is a fairly major undertaking. I tried so hard to do all the shopping early because I knew at the end there would still be things we forgot. As we packed yesterday we came to realize we going to need a third suitcase. Hopefully it all works out okay for him but he has room to spare now. 

We were finally weighing them on the bathroom scale around 12:30 last night. They can't be one ounce over 50 lb. I had to move some heavy items from one to another but we were totally fine. You also have to take into account study material they have to carry from the MTC in Mexico to the mission.

Nathaniel was set apart at 8:45 last night by President Oldroyd. I gave the opening prayer (which started Sarah & I up pretty good) and then he talked with us some and set Nathaniel apart. Nathaniel was holding it up like a champ until his Dad said the closing prayer. I finally said what everyone else was thinking. "I'm so tired of crying! I'm ready to be done with this day already!"
It was all incredibly special. Lots of mixed emotions. 

We had planned to eat beforehand but none of us could stomach much for most of the day leading up to the setting apart. I kept having visions in my mind of stopping in the middle of everything and just throwing up in a trash can. I felt awful all day and was of course fighting off a headache and sore throat on top of it. 
So we ate afterwards instead. At IHOP. Again the only place open.

Here he is after being a missionary for about an hour celebrating with a Dr Pepper. 
I think he really needed that right then.

 Sarah and her swollen eyes.

(John's heart is breaking)

Missionary amidst the packing of the room. I slept on the floor that night (for all of the 2 hours we had) because once they are set apart they are not supposed to be alone. 
Those monitors you see him in front of him are not hooked into a computer. No video games for missionaries;)

Got to the airport at 4am where an airport security drill sergeant lady was belting out instructions to the missionaries they get every Wednesday at this time in the morning. 
I doubt any other airport has workers yelling instructions to groups of young men in suits about their emergency contact being their mission president. Salt Lake City Airport has this thing down.

There's no sugar coating this. It's just hard. Really hard. Definitely one of those thing you have to experience for yourself to get it. You're going against your natural instinct and there are all these alarm bells going off and you really begin to wonder just what you are even doing this for. I know for Nathaniel you could probably amplify that feeling by a thousand.
There were three especially hard things yesterday.
One, saying goodbye to Nancy. I knew this was going to be tough. My heart was broken for them.
Two, watching Peter bring Will in for a final goodnight to Nathaniel as we weren't taking him or John with us to the airport. It's very hard to leave your adorable two-year-old brother knowing he won't remember you and will be completely different when you get back.
Third, and really hardest, was going into his room to say goodnight before I laid on the floor in the area right outside his room and he is laying in his bed with the light on just staring out with tears falling down his cheeks. You can't know unless you've been there just how much it is for these kids to take in. They are leaving behind everything they know. Everything
I don't know if he was crying because he was leaving his family, because he was missing Nancy, because he spending his last night in his room, or if he was feeling scared. It was probably a mix of many things. (Not to mention the exhaustion. He had to get up again in two hours.) And there was nothing I could do or say. It's just one of those things you can't fix.

People will tell me this is the best thing for him. I know that. People will say it will all be worth it. I know that. People can tell me I'm blessed. I really know that. 
There isn't anything I would want for him more than this right now. 
In spite of all this my heart feels like it is breaking. So bear with me if I need to feel sad right now. I'm hoping I do better soon.

I thought about telling Nathaniel all the feelings I have for him but decided he probably didn't need that right now. I thought about sending him with a note but decided maybe that wouldn't be necessary or helpful.
He already knows how I feel.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Thanks for that post, April.

We all wish Nathaniel the very best!