Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And it begins...

Looks kind of happy, huh? Just moments after putting on his missionary name tag, we introduce Elder Isaac Livingston, a very happy and excited servant of the Lord. It was a wonderful day for our whole family.

When we first arrived at the MTC, we dropped him off so he could take his luggage to a staging area for new missionaries. When we next saw him near the front entrance, his first words were "this place is AWESOME! and I haven't even been inside yet!" We were then greeted by volunteers who got his information and said we had a few minutes to take pictures.

We then went to a chapel and waited for the MTC president and his wife, President and Sister Boone, to arrive. They shared some brief comments, told us that they would take care of each missionary the very best way they knew how, and then departed. We then watched a segment of the Church video "Called to Serve" (time to update it, I think. There are missionaries in that video that I taught in the MTC!) and were then told after the closing prayer it would be time to say goodbye.

As the prayer concluded, Isaac first hugged his little sister, Ellie. Tears began to flow. He hugged me and told me "I love you, dad." I struggled to respond likewise. He then hugged McKenzie, who also began to cry. Caleb was next. He has a very tender heart and it showed on his face. Finally, mom and son embraced, both crying openly. As Isaac let go and began to walk towards that door, he then gripped Ginger's hand with his and wouldn't let go. Neither of them could look at one another.

Then, as if in slow motion, he walked resolutely towards the exit, gave us an Isaac fist-pump, and was gone.

As odd as it sounds, the words of a Tom Petty song then popped into my head:

"Well some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I started out for God knows where
But I guess Ill know when I get there

I'm learning to fly around the clouds
But what goes up must come down

I'm learning to fly..."

So tough to let the bird leave the nest. But oh, what beautiful wings...


JP Anderson said...

I think about the mission I served almost every day. Somedays I'm glad I did it and it's over and other days and glad I did it and wish I still were there. I've wanted so many times to sneak into the MTC and just walk around and reminisce. Maybe have some lunch and go to a devotional. Those were some of the greatest days of my life! And yes, that was a copy and paste job from my comments on Scott's blog. Those words in a different order would have been typed all over again anyways. This was just easier and still applicable.

Kathy F. said...

Congratulations to you all! You've sent Elder Livingston off with a great foundation. Your love and support will continue to sustain him in the months ahead. We'll be wishing the best for him!

Jen said...

Thanks for making a blog - I love keeping up on my two favorite missionaries! So exicted for Issac and loved to read about your day, even though Ging already gave me briefing! Right now I'm wondering why the heck I dared to have two sons! Yikes! I'm in for it! Whatever, girls go on missions too now don't they! Love you guys! JEN

shawn said...

twenty five years and it is like yesterday. i guess it is good that a mark which is indelable is good and purpose full. there was a song popular in my day when missionary fairwells were more fun than today...but thats another story.

the song says;" my the lord give you shelter in the hollow of his hand".

i know that he will, god speed ike, use your wings, they work great....