Tuesday June, 26th
His flight from Phoenix to the MTC was at 7:42 am which meant a really early morning. I was so relieved when that morning Braydon woke up and he had his beautiful, easy going smile back! I know I barely slept, not sure about the rest of them and my stomach was in knots. Such a bittersweet day! As we walked through the airport to print his boarding pass and check his bags, we started noticing missionaries here and there. As silly as this may seem it was so comforting and gave me peace.
We/ I had been stressing about the weight of his bags, when we tried to weigh them at home they were over what they were suppose to be. Braydon put them up on the scale and they were 49 pounds and 50 pounds right on the money, crazy!!
We headed upstairs to where security and his gate were and again saw clusters of missionaries with their families all over, it was so awesome!! We hung out, took some pics and then it was time for our final goodbyes. Heart wrenching, I did my best to put on a brave face and hugged and kissed my boy goodbye for the last time for TWO years. It broke my heart to see the girls and Keaton struggle so much with their goodbyes. If I didn't have such a strong testimony of this gospel and the importance of serving a mission I could not have let him go. I truly would not want him ANY other place but this is one of the hardest things I have ever done as a mother. I know it will all be worth it and I am anxious and excited for him to get to work and to read all about it in his letters and emails but I am going to miss him like CRAZY!! We watched him make his way through security and then on his way to the terminal. By the time he got to the front of the security line he was already chatting away with a couple of other missionaries. I knew he was ready and excited to go which definitely helped.
It was one long and very teary ride home, we all took turns breaking into sobs. It was pretty pathetic! We went to Mimi's for breakfast as our new modified family and again it was pretty somber, I can only imagine what the waitress thought of us!! The rest of the day was kind of a blur. I felt kind of lost and detached from my body and physically and emotionally exhausted. As things transpired the rest of the day it was a true testament that our Heavenly Father is aware of us and his hand is in everything.
Since we decided to have Braydon fly to Utah, my parents were kind enough to pick Braydon up from the airport and transport him to the MTC which was fun for him and a giant relief for me! They picked him up and then met his aunts and uncles that live in Utah for lunch at Tucano's, they then dropped him at the MTC. After I was sure they had dropped him off I called my parents to find out how it all went and these are the events they shared with me!
Braydon was the first of the missionaries to board the plane and when he got on the Pilot and Copilot personally welcomed him on board, shook his hand and asked where he would be serving, they then proceeded to tell him that the pilot was a Stake President and the Copilot a high councilman! Seriously what are the odds!! There ended up being 24 missionaries on his flight. The pilot publicly welcomed the missionaries on board and said he loves flying with the missionaries, he always feels more safe!! Braydon chatted with almost every single missionary on the flight, found out where they were going etc.! The kid loves to fly, he is like a little kid in a candy store on an airplane!!
At the restaurant their waitress asked him where he was going on his mission when he told her she got super excited and went on and on about how that's where her dad went and they have visited there many times and told him all about how awesome it is! Again what are the odds! Needless to say he had a great experience and had a huge smile on his face walking into the MTC!
Later that night before bed I got a call from my brother Kory who had gotten a call from a return missionary from his ward who is at BYU and teaches at the MTC. He was Braydons teacher at the MTC and he said he would keep an eye out for him! Braydon had worked with his younger brothers so he knew exactly who he was.
At every turn that rough day I felt comforted and knew Braydon was doing great and was where he should be! While I am sad, my heart is soo full!