Last December, overcome with emotion, Robbie read his mission call: Report to the Sau Paulo Brazil MTC on April 9th. Wow, that's far away - a long time to wait, four and a half months. But at the same time that cold day in December was a long time in coming too.
Visa's to Brazil were delayed so Robbie was instructed to enter the Provo MTC today at 1:00. At 11:30 this is morning we zipped up all the suitcases and headed out for lunch, but not until Mark gave him a beautiful fathers blessing. I was wearing makeup before that but afterwards you couldn't tell - except for the mascara smear on Robbie's collar - don't worry, it came out. I decided reapplying makeup would be pointless.
At lunch we realized that his immunization forms we needed to keep handy got left on the kitchen table... good thing we live close by. We arrived with time to spare.
Aaron joined us for lunch but couldn't make it to the MTC. It was cold, hard to tell it was April.
Robbie went in one door and we went in another one. He got his badge with a dot noting that he is a new missionary and then came over to our side of the lobby. Everything had his name spelled right except his badge. He'll be getting a new one soon.
I can't remember when I've seen him smile as he did today. He just beamed. He looked like a grown man, like a missionary. Everyone held it together pretty well. Seeing how happy he was made it hard not to. What a great young man, and a great missionary. No big crying session for me. Just bouts now and then. I will miss this awesome young man, but I wouldn't have him anyplace else. April 9th has come and is almost gone. Approx. 729 days until he comes home. I wonder about the experiences he will have during the next 729 days, I wonder about the growth that will take place, the joys and sorrows that he will experience so many miles away. I can't be there to wrap my arms around him and comfort him or to remind him that all these things shall give him experience and prepare him for what lies ahead. He will have to learn to rely on his Heavenly Father and in so doing will be all the stronger. 729 days... wow, that's far away - a long time to wait. But just like April 9th, the hours, weeks and months will pass and looking back it will seem like it passed so quickly and he will be home. Back among us but hopefully never quite the same.