Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Saying farewell to technology! No iPhone, iPad or laptop computer for 2 years!
Giving one last hug to his beloved little sister before he left California
At 1:00 pm today Jon and I dropped off Elder Coleman at the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC). Shakespeare captured my emotion centuries ago: "Parting is such sweet sorrow." My heart was full of joy to see his excitement to finally be there and sorrow to know I won't be with him for two years. After we gave him one last hug and watched him walk away with his suitcases, my heart nearly burst. Lyrics from a Mindy Gledhill song popped into my mind: "Don't let this distance tell you this is good-bye....It's not good-bye."

 The three of us ended up with a 12 passenger rental van for the drive from Salt Lake City to Provo. Haha Awesome memory of bouncing along in that cruiser!
 Clay's last meal before entering the MTC...CHICK FIL-A at the Cougareat, of course! His favorite!

 The long line of missionaries waiting to welcome the newly arriving sisters and elders...
These hugs will have to last us for two years!

 And off he goes. Godspeed, Elder Coleman! We love you to the moon and back!

Flying back to California, we flew past Provo. It was surreal to know that somewhere down there amidst all of those lights was my little boy. He couldn't be happier and neither could I. 

Officially a Full-time Missionary

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Participating in the setting apart: Bishop Chapman, Clay's dad, Elder Coleman, Wyatt Corbin,
President Brennan, and Travis Corbin
Before a missionary departs on his mission, he/she is given a priesthood blessing called a "setting apart" which bestows authority to preach the gospel as a full-time missionary.

I had no idea what a special night this would turn out to be. First, our stake president asked the close friends and family members who were invited there to share some advice and their feelings about Clay. As a mother it was simply a dream come true to hear the remarkable things shared about Clay. Such tender and heartfelt emotions were expressed about the wonderful person Clay is. Jon told him, "Well, Clay, now you know what it would be like to attend your own funeral." Then President Brennan gave the setting apart blessing. It was one of the most powerful blessings I've ever had the privilege of hearing. Clay was blessed with an ability to learn the languages of his mission, with safety and wisdom, great love for both the people he serves and his companions, and many other remarkable promises. Afterward, Clay looked at me and said if he could walk to the MTC right then and there, he would. He was just so ready to go. The spirit was palpable. It was a night I will cherish forever.