Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alex Arrives in Utah & at the MTC (Missionary Training Center)

Alex at the Salt Lake Temple

We left for Utah a few days before Alex was to report to the MTC (Missionary Training Center). This allowed us time to finish up a few things we needed to do for him and also allowed us to visit with our kids who are up there. I know Alex enjoyed those couple of days.

On Sunday we went to church with Alycia & Trevor and Alex & Sarah went to Marie's Stake Conference. They both commented on what a wonderful meeting it was. After church we headed back to the Sanchez home where Brandon, Serene and the girls are staying while he has his internship in Salt Lake City. We had some of our family for dinner - Fred's brother Greg, his wife Gaylia, their son Damon, Robert, Byron and his wife Shelly and their new baby Allan. It was great to see them. Marie was able to be there with us also :)

Monday we headed to Provo and finished up some of what we needed to do for Alex. We of course stopped and ate at the creamery and got our chocolate milk :) While we were there we were able to see two former missionaries that we were particularly close to while they served here. They married after their mission and just had a sweet baby boy. I also ran into one of the girls from my trek family :) That night we had an FHE (family home evening) barbeque. We invited family & friends. Some of the friends we invited used to live in Rosemary & area when we were there. We were happy that Marie was able to spend FHE with us. Fred picked up Aunt Nola and it is always wonderful to see her. Luetta (Baxter), her husband Doug and their girls came. It was so fun to have them there. Sadly none of our other Rosemary friends were able to make it. The Gallup's who live in the Sanchez's ward came over. Dan is from Cardston and Fred went to school with his sister. He is also related to Aunt Nola so that was fun for her to go over genealogy. They showed us their "Canada" basement. It was pretty neat. (They are also related to the Gallup's from Rosemary)

Tuesday we headed into Salt Lake. We went to the University first where Alex talked with an advisor about registering for classes before he gets home from his mission. From there we picked up Marie and we all headed to the Church Office building that Brandon works in. We ate lunch in the cafeteria. It was great! We had hoped to have a tour of where he works but we were to pressed for time. We were meeting Alex's friend Harrison Hinz at the Temple. Marie was a sweetheart and hung with Sarah while we were at the Temple. Sarah had a blast and they bought matching sunglasses :)

Marie & Sarah

It was a wonderful experience to go through the Salt Lake Temple with the boys. After the session was done I saw Alex hugging this lady in the Temple. It turns out it is Sis. Calder who is the wife of the counselor in his University Ward bishopric. Her husband is the counselor that worked closely with the Elder's Quorum presidency that Alex was in and he got to know them quite well. They also hosted many FHE's at their home. It was fun to meet her. Alex introduced her to me as his "Salt Lake Mom." What a treat for Alex to see her in the Temple. We were very happy to meet her.
Alex & Harrison

Alex & Brandon

After the Temple we quickly, and I mean quickly, went and saw an amazing model of the Salt Lake Temple that is in the South Visitor's center. You can see all the rooms inside etc. It was pretty amazing! I wish we had had more time but we had to go and pick up Marie & Sarah from the mall so that we could get to Alex's setting apart. We picked the girls up, drove Marie home, talked with her parents for a few minutes and said our good-bye's.

We then headed to the Stake President's home. We knew we were in the right area but couldn't find the final street to turn onto. Alex's Bishop lived on the main street and he had pointed it out to us. He told us to turn around and he would see if the gate to the Bishop's cul de sac was open. His plan was to go ask them how to get to the Stake President's home. Alex had just got to the gate when a car pulled up and guess who it was? It was his Bishop!! What are the odds?! He gave Alex a great big hug and then had us follow him over. He was not able to stay and gave his apologies. It was wonderful how throughout our day these people that Alex knew so well this school year kept showing up where we were to give him hugs and show their love & support.

We were able to visit with the Stake President for about 10 mins. while we waited for Alycia & Trevor to arrive. We found out that he was a former mission president. He gave Alex some counsel & advice that only someone who has been a mission president could do. What a blessing! It was also a blessing to have some of our children there to support Alex. Sarah, Brandon, Aylcia & Trevor were able to be there with us. The setting apart was amazing and the spirit was so strong. When it was over I had a wave of emotion sweep over me as the realization hit "He's now a missionary." I looked at him and you could see the change and the mantle that had been placed upon him. We are so proud of him and know that he will be an amazing missionary.

Alex & President Douglas Rees

Our Family at President Rees' home

The next morning we got up and started getting ready to go. We had time to go and get some lunch before dropping him off. Alex chose to eat at the Brick Oven. It was great as usual and it was fun to see other missionaries in there that were getting ready to leave just like Alex. They gave him a "companion dessert" bag to take to the MTC. There were some goodies for him & his companion. How cool was that? Why didn't we know this for our other two boys?

Lunch at the Brick Oven

We got to the MTC and parked across the street and then stood in line for our turn to take our pictures in front of the MTC sign. Then we walked back to the car and drove back to the MTC driveway. That's where they directed us to our spot on the curb where would unload his luggage and say our goodbyes. There were two Elder's there waiting for us. They helped with the luggage and said "Hello" to us and asked Alex where he was headed. I had heard a lot of complaints about the new "drop off" system and was quite curious as to what it would be like. I can honestly say that I liked it more than our other experiences. Our other experiences were wonderful but this one was much better in the fact that it was much more intimate, personal & private.

Elder Alexander Thomas Leavitt

They give you your space for your good bye, unlike the airport where you have the security people telling you you have to hurry and move your car. They allow you to take as little or as long as you want to say your good bye. Then one of the missionaries takes your missionary with luggage in tow and they start walking towards the front of the MTC. Then you leave.

There weren't hundreds of people around with a lot of crying, laughing and talking. It was just us. Our own little family having our own special private goodbye. I really did love it and prefer it over all the other experiences I've had. It was amazing and a little surreal. It's hard to believe he's gone. We are now anxiously awaiting that first letter.

1 comment:

  1. Three cheers to you Lisa for this blog! We'll be following you.