Matthew decided that he would prefer to say his sibling family goodbyes at home and not at the MTC. We had a whole bunch of sibling goodbyes that morning. Some of them kind of tearful. Some of those tears may have been from dad who was taking the pictures. I dropped off two sobbing sisters at school--hoping their teachers were going to be understanding of their tears and patient with their sad day.
|Faith was the first one out the door and the first one to have to say goodbye that morning.|
|Matthew . . . probably thinking, "I'm going to miss these guys!"|
|Matthew probably having second thoughts about missing them|
|Matthew definitely having second thoughts|
|Grace was pretty sure that she shouldn't let Matthew out the door. It's tough to have your big brother go away for so long.|
|This is where all the kids get their back-to-school pictures. It seemed only fitting that he stand here for his best off-to-school experience ever.|
Ted and Matthew ran some last minute errands and then we took off to head to the MTC, stopping for a few more things and our last lunch together for a while. For lunch, we pulled into the Village Inn because they had huge signs for pie out front and that looked totally like what we needed. When we got inside we found out that missionaries entering the MTC get a free meal. Yay for us! That was a fun and lucky little break. We actually ate ourselves kind of silly and didn't have room or time for pie, but maybe when he gets home we'll revisit the restaurant and finally get our pie!
We headed to the MTC, all feeling pretty excited and chipper. It sounded like there were a few deep breaths coming from the backseat, but mostly everybody was doing great. Matthew even told me that I was doing much better than he thought I would be. I WAS! Yay me! Then the stoplight turned red right before we pulled into the MTC and we had to stop . . . and wait . . . and watch all the moms hug their missionaries and get their last minute pictures. Brutal. All semblance of a stoic exterior was over at that point.
We turned into the MTC and were greeted by two young missionaries. One of them helped Matthew remove his luggage. I had the distinct impression that the other missionary's function was to manage me and Ted and get us moving along. They were nice, but to the point. Ted and I got one final picture with that great big boy. I gave him a huge hug and told him, "You are going to . . . " I actually couldn't get any more words out (there were a lot of tears at that point, I'm not going to lie), so I'm hoping he filled the rest in with the appropriate message (not something like . . . break your leg, or . . .come home next week, or . . . hate the food). I was actually going for, "You are going to . . . do GREAT!" Because he will. Matthew is so determined when he puts his mind to something and fully commits himself. I know he is going to fly and be a spectacular missionary.
|Matthew's the guy in the suit rolling away with his luggage.|
We are so incredibly proud of Matthew's willingness to sacrifice two years of his life for this great cause. I know that he will come away with more than he could ever give, and I am so looking forward to see where this journey takes him! We really love that boy. He is loved. He will be missed. But we know he is where he belongs and he is ready for this experience.