Brian was set apart as an full time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Tuesday December 17th. Our Stake President and Bishop came to our house late the night before Brian was to report the MTC. We had family, friends and the missionaries who serve in our area over for the event. Nobody warned us of the emotional experience we were about to have. There was not a single dry eye in the house and no tissues either. If you are going to be sending a son or daughter out into the mission field, make sure to have LOTS of tissues available. I had to bring out the high class roll of TP and pass it around.
What made it such a memorable and emotional night was that we were all together one last time and we were focusing on Brian. The Stake President gave him some missionary advice which included the number one thing is to write your mom! (queue tears here) Oh and number 2, treasure your mom's love no matter how hard your day is if you concentrate hard enough you can feel her love even if you are worlds apart. (still crying over that one). After the advice he asked everyone in the circle to bare their testimony and love for Brian. Oh no... my dad is first in line. He hates being called out to do things like this. But the Stake President gave us an out if we didn't feel comfortable saying anything. He said we could just say "I love you Brian." I fully expected my dad to say that but no, he shared his feelings for Brian and how happy he was for him but how he was going to miss him terribly. (wow) Then Benjamin (Brian's youngest brother) had his turn. He couldn't get anything out amongst his tears other than "I love you Brian". (MORE tears around the room). It's not very often that you see an eight year old boy show that kind of emotion. The emotion of love, of the Spirit and of heart felt tenderness. It was amazing. The rest of the circle continued to be heart wrenching and so impactful. At one point Brian had to use the end of his tie to wipe his eyes. (Good thing we invested in those waterproof ties).
It was an amazing experience. An experience that no one in that room will ever forget.