|Amber, Ashley-Salt Lake Temple- Sat. April 6|
But, it was hard on ME. I cried all afternoon. :)
We waited in a long line of cars that extended from the entrance of the MTC (Missionary Training Center, in Provo, Utah) to enter one of 24 drop off points. We were told that we'd have 2 1/2 minutes to get unloaded and say our 'goodbye's.' So, we were prepared. Or, so we thought.
We took a few photos at the Provo Temple - and then, got in the car line to wait our drop-off turn. As we visited, expressed our love and support (from her two younger teenage siblings), and talked about saying goodbye, this sweet missionary daughter then, finally, shared that she was somewhat 'scared' - and I started to tear up.
Up to this point we have been so busy with preparations that we scarcely had time to think about the
actual day she'd leave. There was much more preparation than I'd known about, settling things with her schooling at BYU-Idaho and trying to sell her housing contract (which we're still trying to do), selling her little and very hard-earned car, figuring out enough clothing - with skirts that were long enough in length but, not too long, modest blouses and sweaters (often difficult to find), suitable walking shoes that were still 'cute' etc. :)
Then, the financing of it all.
Lots to do, lots to prepare, lots to think about.
And, now she's gone. I can't just text her. Or....go into her room and visit and see how she's doing. I can't call her on the phone to hear her voice, or hug her when I feel the desire to do so.
I didn't know the depth that I'd feel yesterday or the way my heart would deepen and grow a few more sizes. Or, the understanding and appreciation I'd gain for the other 65,000 missionary families that have recently done the same as me - and the thousands of others' who've gone through it over the years.
Just when I thought I'd learned most of the life lessons to learn :) (lots of them over the years), I realize how many more there may be. And, even through the pain and grief and 'loss', I am grateful.
I am grateful for a loving Father into whose hands I have entrusted this daughter. (She's really His anyway, after all.) For a beloved Savior whom I am most deeply grateful that she is able to serve and teach of. And, for a marvelous plan for all His children. And for so many missionaries who desire to serve and love their fellowman, (fellow brothers and sisters-we are all children of God) and at their own sacrifice, time, talents and means, go all over the world, where-ever they are 'called' - to share this message of love with the world.
I know that I am not a very good writer - nor often good at expressing how I feel in terms worthy of publication. But, as a mother I do know that there is probably no greater love or sacrifice we could make - than sending our children out into the world to serve. And, I know that our Father did the same when He sent us all here to earth. So, for all that, I am grateful and more thankful than I thought possible.
And, my continual prayers will ascend heavenward in her behalf, and for those she will meet and serve and love and possibly teach, and for all others who are serving in the world - striving to bring light and truth to searching souls.
I love you all.
You can follow Amber's mission blog at: Sister Amber in Virginia. I will be adding her weekly letters home to the site. Thanks for your support. It's nice, at times like these, to know that others' care! :)