Locking the door one last time
Lunch together at Magelby's
"Doc" Wishing Carston Good Luck
The luggage Grandpa's were adorable!
Jentzen took this picture
Glad this isn't a close-up of us. We have red, swollen eyeballs!
Yeah! I finally have a minute to write about our special day last Wednesday Feb, 11th. We took our boy to the "Empty Sea". It was the most exciting, difficult, joyous, awesome, heart wrenching, uplifting, painful, wonderful, happy and amazing day ever!!! An experience I will NEVER forget!!
We took Carston to Magelby's for our last lunch together. I thought he would order a big yummy steak or chicken marsala or something fancy, but instead he ordered a roast beef sandwich. Go figure. I think he was too nervous to eat. I recall right before we left the house, Carston proclaimed one last time, "I'm not going to cry." We all said, "Yah, whatever!" So maybe he was concentrating on not crying....
After lunch, we had a few minutes to spare, so we drove up past the Provo temple and got a close look at the beautiful, fresh snow dusted mountains. Our somber moods were lifted for a brief moment when this guy who was trying to make his way back to his truck, slipped on a patch of ice. His legs flew out in front of him repeatedly like he was doing an Irish jig. He regained his balance and never did fall, but the comic relief was much needed. Poor guy.
We arrived at the MTC at 12:30 and were greeted by the cute little luggage grandpa's. They showed Carston where to take his luggage, sent Shaun to park the van, and the rest of us waited out front by the flags. When we were all reunited, we walked up and took pictures by the brick wall as you enter the MTC grounds. My friend Bev called me this morning before we left and told us to be sure and get a picture of him going in the doors that say, "New Missionaries enter here." I was glad she told me about that, or I would've overlooked it. Thanks Bev!
Once we were inside, I had the privilege of placing his name badge on his suit. I didn't even cry. On our way to the chapel, I chuckled at how well stocked they were with boxes of kleenex.
We found a seat in the chapel and then watched Homefront clips, (those cute, "From the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints" commercials) I started to feel a huge lump swell in my throat, but surprisingly I didn't cry.
We started the meeting singing, "Called To Serve." I loved hearing Carston sing at the top of his lungs. He NEVER sang like that in our Sacrament meetings. Still no tear flow. Where are my tears? I'm not sure why I was so composed. Anyways, we were favored to hear a few words from Elder Groberg, who's grandson was entering that day and then a couple of other people spoke briefly but I don't remember who they were or what they said, it's all a blurr. BUT. I do remember THE FILM they showed. That's when I lost composure! The tears started flowing, quite freely. Making up for lost time I guess. I wasn't able to stop them. I looked down the row and saw every member of my family crying except Gage. He was clueless. Lucky kid. Travis swears he didn't cry but I swear I saw his eyes watering. So there! Debate over! After the film, they stood up and said, "It's Time."
WHOAH!!!! You know it's coming, but you're not ready for it! "Missionaries exit in the back, and families exit in the front." My whole body went numb. I wondered how I was going to get 2 years worth of hugs out of him in those couple minutes we had left. He hugged us all tight, about 5 times each. I noticed he hadn't even shed one tear up to this point, even while hugging each of us, but when he hugged his Best Dad, that's when I saw his tears. They embraced a little longer. It was very touching.
I could tell he was anxious to get going and that made our parting much more bearable. I know he's been looking forward to this day for many years. I was really proud to be his mom at that moment. Our good-bye's were final and we went our separate ways. I stopped and watched him walk 15 rows or so to the back of the chapel and we exchanged one last glance. He had an enormous ear to ear grin! Then it was over just like that!
It was the longest ride home ever!! Kaymin asked if we could stop and get ice cream to put on our eyes. We laughed about it but it actually sounded yummy, so we ended up stopping at Wendy's to get a Frosty. That was one of Carston's favorite treats to get when we were out and about. It was a fun surprise to see my Bishop and his darling wife and family there, along with his sweet parents. They gave us all hugs and took a picture of us eating Frosty's in Carston's honor.
We came home and there hanging on the hall closet doorknob was Carston's leather jacket. Dang I wish he would've hung that up before he left. (more tears)
Now we're all anxiously awaiting a letter from him. We wonder who his companion is, his roommates, how the language is coming along etc. We've written him everyday so far. I'm grateful for "Dearelder.com" and I've already sent him a package, chuck full of Valentine's candy. He'll be in the MTC till April 13. I know he's embarking on the adventure of a lifetime and that he'll do his best. We're proud to be his family!