I don't know why...I suppose I just never thought too much about it before...but until Dean started working on his missionary application, I didn't realize what an emotional experience it would be sending my child off to serve a mission (and this coming from ME--Miss Emotional). I guess I just always focused on the joyful aspect of it. I was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster I found myself on. "Miserable Joy" is how a friend described the feelings of sending a child on a mission. Looking back now, I can see that the "lead up" to the MTC drop off was the worst for me. Lots of tears and heartache knowing that he was all grown up now and leaving the nest. Knowing I wouldn't see him for two years didn't help either. I'm doing much better though, now that Elder Brinkerhoff is out on his mission and doing well. I have emotional moments now and then, but mostly I feel comfort and peace.
I don't know what it is about rainbows, but they always seem to bring comfort, and a feeling that everything is going to be OK. This is the scene we were met with upon returning "home" (to my Sister-in-law's house) after taking Elder Brinkerhoff to the MTC.
Chanon and I decided to return to Salt Lake, and Temple Square, after picking up our van from the shop (I really need to do a blog post about that story--it was without a doubt a real miracle and a missionary blessing). We wanted to spend some time alone in a special, sacred place after the experiences of the day, and also finish up what we didn't have time to do the day before. It was a wonderful experience, and helped us feel close to our son.
We went to the Church History Museum. I really love that place! This is one of the displays...how could I not take a picture of a display of missionaries?!!! ha ha
We also took a tour of the Beehive house (no pictures of that), and the Conference Center. We were the only two people in our Conference center tour. Also, our tour guide was on the last day of his mission and he really gave us a deluxe tour! This is such an incredible building. I love these pictures I took of the interior...
The following pictures were taken on the roof of the building...
This is what it's all about!
(This awesome picture was taken of Elder Brinkerhoff by his aunt, Heidi Brown)
As difficult as it was in the beginning to send my boy off for 2 years,
I love being a Missionary Mom!