Thursday, October 9, 2014

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

The bags are packed. Three suitcases and one missionary bag. His brother got away with two suitcases, but you don't need bulky winter gear in Vegas. ;)
Final moments on the Provo Temple grounds before we leave Elder Alley at the MTC
Her third sibling to leave on a mission in four months. Poor little Aubrey. 
She's been a trooper (and talk about a faithful letter writer! If you're a missionary, 
you want her to have your address.) :)
This is the picture where mom is chanting in her head: 
"Don't cry. Don't cry. Be strong for Michael." 
Aubrey couldn't hide how sad she was for Michael to be going.
Getting last hugs in
Elder Alley is ready to go. Give 'em heaven, Elder!
Hurrah for Israel!

Outside the MTC five hours after dropping Michael off. 
Aubrey gave her last goodbye before we headed to the airport.

From Elder Alley's Mom:
You’d think dropping off our third missionary in four months would be a piece of cake (been there, done that…twice already actually) but it was the hardest send off of the three. Michael is our homebody. He’s our sweet, always helpful, always positive, always there kid.  OK, he’s not actually a kid anymore, but it's hard for me to not think of him as my little boy…which is why I have to let him go on his mission because as his mom I’ve always tried to make his life a little easier, since it’s always been so hard. I’ve protected him (and OVERprotected at times, yes I am aware of that) his whole life. I know he's capable of doing hard things (he's proved that time and again) but it's hard as his mom to send him off to such a challenging venture.

The only reason I can do this is because I know this is what the Lord wants Michael to do and that He will provide a way for him to do it. I know that Michael has great faith and that he’ll use that faith to move mountains in West Virginia, if needed. (His mom just needs to work on getting that faith, too!)

I felt such peace after the blessing our stake president gave Michael at his setting apart. He was promised so many things. I wish I could remember them all, but I just got an overall feeling that the Lord is so mindful of Michael and that he’ll be there with him every step of the way.
When it came to drop off time, I wavered a bit when I saw Aubrey get sad and Michael tear up and I just about lost it completely when he turned around and shouted, “Hurrah for Israel!” (A few days earlier, we had talked about when Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball were leaving for their mission to Great Britain and they were leaving sick wives and destitute families and they themselves were so sick they were laying down in a wagon to leave. Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young had the teamster stop so they could rise up and shout, “Hurrah, hurrah for Israel!” so their families would be left with a good image and some measure of comfort. Michael was struck by how those brethren were thinking about how their families felt instead of just worrying about themselves.) I know when he shouted, “Hurrah for Israel!” Michael was thinking about how we were feeling and letting us know he was going to be ok. That's so Michael. Always thinking about others first.

So now we anxiously wait for the first email from the MTC as the adventures of Elder Alley begin.

Hurrah for Israel!

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