This Sabbath day was full. Full, full, full. We started the day driving to Corsicana. Our nephew was blessing his baby boy. Baby blessings are always wonderful. Also, I think it is good for the kids to visit different wards. It is good to see that even in a different town, a different building, a different congregation the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the same. We only stayed long enough to take the sacrament and see the baby blessed. Since this is Daniel's last Sunday before he leaves, we thought it would be good for him to be in his home ward one more time.
Today's Relief Society was over the atonement, specifically this beautiful talk by Dallin H. Oaks.
The atonement is so much more than repentance for our mistakes. It also covers those wrongs afflicted on us. Our illnesses and pains and sorrows and challenges can all be covered by the atonement. It heals us. What a comforting thought. When we understand the atonement, it is easy to see why Christmas is such a time of joy.
After our meetings we dashed home to prepare for Daniel's open house. I had no idea how many people would be here. Really I should have been better prepared. More cleaning yesterday. More getting food ready. Then maybe I could've enjoyed my brother more when he showed up right after we got home. It was a most excellent surprise to see him. He had some new photography toys that he was willing to use. He snapped a rather nice pic of Daniel. Another nice surprise was our niece Kriston. She was without the rest of her family. Her oldest son was not feeling well. Actually, I could say how fantastic it was to see everyone. We had a rather nice turnout. Our house was full to bursting. I think I even mentioned to Kermit that we might need a bigger house. I was only half joking.
Daniel leaves on Tuesday. He will be in Brazil for two years. I'm not sure how I feel yet. More accurately, I feel so many things that I don't know how to settle on one. This is an exciting time. I am proud of this young man. I am happy for him. I am excited, but I am also anxious. I don't know how the dynamics of our home will change. I want him to be safe. I can't help him if something goes wrong. I think of missionary parents of the past. All four of King Mosiah's sons left at the same time. They did not know if they would ever see each other again. They did not have a return date. There was no telephones or even mail service. I know that my son will serve for two years and then come home. I will be able to write to him. Twice a year we will be able to talk. It seems a small sacrifice.
We put our missionary son on a plane on Tuesday. Maybe by then I will know how I feel.