Today was the first of three big days this week.
Big Day One: Mission Farewell
Big Day Two: Setting apart
Big Day Three: Report to the MTC
My little brother gave an excellent talk in sacrament meeting to a packed house. The church was full from the front of the chapel until the very back wall of the very last overflow. He talked about Faith, Hope, and Charity. He compared his faith to basketball but I sort of lost the analogy along the way. He was overcome by emotion several times by the outpouring of kindness and love and support show to him and to all of us, his family. He thanked who he hoped was an anonymous person in the audience for the monthly anonymous cash donations to his mission fund. He talked about how faith is so important because he wants to be with family in heaven again some day.
He is ready.
I'm not sure if we are ready to send him away for two years, but, he is ready to serve the Lord.
It is so exciting.
My mom and sister and I have been preparing for the farewell after party all week, and we all congregated last night to get some of the final preparations done. It ended up being just the five of us, and it was so much fun. I love my family the most!
We were prepared for a lot of people, but even still, we weren't prepared for the amount of people that came to my mom's house after the meeting. Or the number of starving boys. We realized quickly that we would be running out of food - we had literal hundreds of everything and it was all going lighting fast.
Eventually, as the line for food wound down, my mom had to break into the pantry to feed all the people - chips, fruit snacks, apples from her fridge....anything we could find to feed the guests. It was sort of like the story of the loaves and fishes in the Bible - how Jesus was able to feed the multitudes with five loaves and 5 fishes. We fed close to 200 hungry people with everything we had on hand. We definitely fed a multitude of our own. It was one of the fastest hours of my life.
My brother has so many great friends, member and non-member, who came to support him today and I of course, had to take pictures of as many of them as I could round up. His group has dwindled significantly, Willie being one of the last of the LDS kids to leave on his mission, but they are such a handsome and supportive group of boys. And girls! There were more girls hanging on my brother than I care to see, but he is cute.
My mom's house looked beautiful, even over run by people. It was definitely a day to remember. Now, we just need to make it through the Wednesday drop-off, and it could be the fastest (or slowest) two years of our lives.