After packing half the day, it was time to get ready for President Bangerter to come over and set Reggie apart as a Full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was the perfect evening. The temperature was just right and the sunset was beautiful. Grandpa Don and Grandma Maria came as well as Bishop Daines. Before he was set apart, we were all asked to share something from our hearts. It was emotional to think of this boy who was now nearly a man. It was a tribute to him how sad we were that he was leaving, but how happy we were for what he will gain from it... all at the same time. Then President Bangerter gave him a great blessing. If he does his best, living in Exact Obedience and following the spirit, he will be a wonderful, successful missionary.
Then today, June 24th, it was time for him to go. We got up and ready to head over a little after 8am. Tim Pierson came with us to take pictures and video. Village Inn was our stop for breakfast. It was quite interesting how most of the people there were taking a missionary to Provo MTC and not one of them was going foreign. Reggie ate a huge breakfast and on the way out we found out that missionaries eat for free! How great is that?
We actually had a lot more time that we thought we would when he headed over to Provo temple. We took some photos and then rested on the grass for a while, awaited that 11:00 hour. The day really couldn't be more beautiful. It was finally time and we loaded up and headed over to the MTC. There awaiting us curbside was a young returned missionary ready to be Elder Northrup's personal guide for the day. We took his luggage out of the van, gave hugs, shed tears... he waved and was off down the side walk for 2 years! How could this time have come so quickly? It really just doesn't seem real. After packing yesterday, we put away all of his personal items that he didn't want bothered while he is gone. Tonight, I went and finished cleaning up his room and washing his bedding. I discovered that he left with a few necessary things... He will be getting his first package Friday! He left his extra contact lenses, his watch and a pair of garments that he had on before his shower this morning. Gretchen has already written a letter and a letter arrived in the mail from Grandpa and Grandma Thayne that I need to send along as well. Here we go!
My hopes for Reggie (Elder Northrup) is that he will know he is deeply loved by his family, his Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. I hope that he will know that though things will be hard, HE CAN DO HARD THINGS! I hope he isn't scared and if he is, the spirit will comfort him. I hope that he knows that to those the Lord calls, he Qualifies for the work and that this IS the Lord's work! I love him and will miss him like crazy, but How Great Will be my joy as I watch him grow and develop into the man Heavenly Father knows he can become.
See you in 2!