Daniel opened his mission call last Tuesday. I was at work when it arrived. I don't usually have my phone with me, but I did this morning. Kermit called and asked if I wanted to know where my son was going. I jumped up and down. I probably looked like a crazy lady. It was very hard waiting until 6:30. We technically didn't have to wait but we wanted to share the moment with a few friends and family.
The magic moment finally arrived. Brazil Belem Mission. In that moment that he read the name, it all became really real. Up until now, the fact that my baby was leaving was theoretical. An unknown date in the distant future. Now it is a fact. We have a hard deadline. He is to report to the Brazil MTC on December 9th. A very short 120 days from the time he opened the packet. Daniel, of course, feels like this is all the time in the world. No, I say. It is not.
My boy is leaving. I am so proud of him. He will be fantastic. But I also worry. I don't know much about Brazil. I don't know what I can do to prepare him for this. I have found out that Belem means Bethlehem. It is the gateway to the Amazon River. All I know about this portion of the world I learned watching River Monsters. I don't recommend that particular show if you are sending a child there. My baby is going to the place where live fish that eat you from the inside out.
Reaction from his siblings is mixed. Hannah surprised us a while back when she said she didn't want him to go. There might have even been a plan to hide the mission call. Jacob told Daniel that he didn't want him to go. "If you try to go I'm going to lock you in the bathroom."
Sarah also expressed her wish for her brother to stay. Apparently, she won't have anyone to torture if he leaves. I'm of the opinion that she will easily find a new victim.
Elizabeth is quiet on the subject. Joseph loudly declares to any who will listen to him that he wants Daniel's stuff.
This is one of those times when the Gospel rubber meets the road. Did we really mean it when we taught the importance of preaching the gospel? Do I have enough faith to let me boy go for two years? I'm going to miss him. He will face challenges and I can only hope that we have adequately prepared him. Mostly I feel peace. I think on the mothers of the Stripling Warriors. They sent their sons to war. They had faith that all would be well. That faith was instilled in their sons. Daniel will be fantastic.