This was what I (Mom speaking) have looked forward to since June, when Reggie went into the MTC. I wasn't able to speak to him when he was at the airport, so I held out for this moment. What a JOY it was to see him speaking and hear his voice. Back in the olden days it was a phone call, but how lucky are we to be able to actually see our boy right in front of us.
The growth that has happened within him in only 6 months is amazing. I was delighted with how focused he is on being EXACTLY OBEDIENT. He was told by his mission president that the skyping could go from 30-40 minutes (which is what it says in the white handbook). He gave us a 30 second warning and was out right at 40 minutes. I wanted to show him his video that his friend Tim made of him heading off to the MTC. He said, "Does it have the LDS logo on it?" I said, "No, but it has the temple and the MTC in the background." He said, "I better wait til I get home to see it."
He said the thing he has learned the most is that you can't do anything without the Spirit. He still has his "nerdy" ways and funny personality. He is happy with his companion, Elder Moon, who also enjoys "nerdy" things.
Rod told him he seemed like he was settling in and has learned the gist of being a missionary. Reggie agreed that he has the gist of it, but still has a lot to learn.
He was so excited to see his cousins Mitchell and Grayson. They popped over for the last 5 minutes or so of the visit.
Mitchell said, "I got so fat on my mission." Reggie said, "Dude, I am so fat! I haven't even gotten on the scale because I don't want to see the damage." Mitchell informed Reggie that Talmage has gained 28 pounds. Looks like that is the norm!
Mitchell shared with him some of the challenges he experienced in South Aftrica (hunger, employment, poverty etc.) He mentioned that he was always a little jealous of the U.S.A. missionaries because they usually don't have to deal with that. He asked Reggie what some of his challenges are. Reggie said that he deals with homosexual marriages and "weed"... "That stuff stinks so bad!"
Anyway, he is doing great. We encouraged him to keep up the hard work. Onward and upward. This was definitely the highlight of our Christmas. What a blessing and a gift it is to have a missionary out serving the Lord faithfully.