Our Missionary - Elder Thomas

Well as you can tell by the plethora of posts lately, things have been a wee bit busy getting Blain ready to go on a mission. I am just going to warn you right now, it costs a pretty penny getting ready for the great send off, so start saving my friends.

Blain with Cousins Jack, Cole and Brody the day before we left.

We left Tuesday morning and drove all day. We finally reached Salt Lake and had a quick meal at P.F. Changs, then drove another hour to Mark's sister's house in Alpine. Cori and her husband were gracious enough to let us barge into their lives for the evening. In fact they stayed up until 11 p.m giving Blain words of wisdom, which I as a mother appreciated. It has been so great hearing all the uncles and aunts give encouragement and advice to our son. Not to mention Tom Rockwood inviting him to lunch at an authentic Mexican restaurant to break him in. I know all these things have meant a lot to him.

Finally the big day arrived. We did a few last minute errands. Here is our quick photo journal of the MTC. It was limited due to the fact it was raining (you might have thought we were in washington).

Mark and Blain outside P.F. Changs with our full, happy, content bellies.

Blain getting his luggage out at the MTC. Is that rain or my tears dripping on the lense. Oh well, lets not quibble about the details. Let's just focus on the excitement and happiness of our son getting ready to enter the mission home.

You drop off your luggage outside the MTC before you enter. The missionaries pick it back up after parting from their parents. This may be so that the mothers have less things to attach themselves to as they are pried from their missionary as they leave. That is just a theory.

Here is a gentleman instructing Blain where to leave his stuff. I loved all the great people who were there at the MTC. They were so enthusiastic and loved saying "where you going elder?" to everyone they talked to.

The parents go through one door and the elders go through another. The next picture illustrates why this is so important.

When they come through their door they get their name tag, a little bit of other information such as mailing address AND they have this lovely lady who hands them a seam ripper which they are to take to their mothers to cut the stitching from the left corner pocket of the missionaries suit so he can put his name tag on. Only a few already had their seams cut, but being the newbies we are (even with a warning from Tom Rockwood) we were relegated to this task.

This is our last picture before we entered the "no picture" zone. After this picture we started down a hall where they requested us to not take pictures after this point. When we entered a large room and sat down they explained it was a dedicated chapel and that is why we shouldn't take pictures (even though we did see several people still doing so). I was doing pretty good until we watched some old LDS commercials that were playing while we waited for the meeting to start. And of course by the end of the meeting I was teary eyed. I didn't expect to be so emotional, but it is hard not to think about all the years I have spent raising Blain. The times I slept on the couch watching Little Mermaid over and over because he was sick. Or when he was born with cancer and being up all night trying to feed him little drips of food. Or even all the wrestling matches we went to, the times I pitched to him so he could practice hitting, helping him with his homework, watching him graduate. It seems like so much time but it goes so fast. One thing that I has always meant a lot to me, was when saying my prayers at night, being grateful that ALL of my family was in their beds safe. I guess that changes. I will now have to pray that ALL my family is safe, no matter where they are. We know Blain will do great and are thankful that such a wonderful son was given to us. We will keep you updated with the news as we get it. WE love you Blain.


kthom said...

Thanks for the photo journal, I've been wondering how the "send off" went. You guys are wonderful parents and have done quite a job raising the "Elder." We're all anxious to hear from him:)

Matt & Stephanie Berglind said...

That is so exciting Lori. It is true that we all know Blain will be a great missionary because he has been taught well by you and Mark. I can't wait to hear all about his time there!

Steff said...

It's so crazy that our little (or not so little) Blain is off on a mission. Time really does fly by. He'll do such a wonderful job and it will be a great experience. I agree with Stephanie that he will be a fantastic missionary because he has been taught by awesome parents. We think you guys are tops!

gramma said...

Thank you for these wonderful pictures, that we could share the whole experience with you. I love the last picture of Blain and Mark. He's
going to be a great missionary. Thank you for the great parents you are.

Becca said...

CRAZY!! Whats his address? I need to start writing him...

Erikson Family said...

Wow! I don't know how you held yourself together - or maybe you didn't. What a great missionary you just sent out - we are so proud of him and you.

CHarris said...

What a handsome Elder! Sophie was right, Blain did look 'cute' the day he entered the MTC! What a great missionary he will be, and I can't wait to start hearing all the stories! What a great example Blain is setting for the rest of the cousins...and us too!