Sunday, August 25, 2013


The first couple weeks of him being in South Dakota were a little rough only in the sense of mail failures! In Braydons previous email he had mentioned that none of the mail we had sent since he had arrived in South Dakota had found him, and we had not received anything from him including the letter he had sent home including hid SD cards with pics from the MTC. We finally got all of our letters returned saying undeliverable. It made me sad he hadn't gotten them. His emails are short and sweet as well as ours to him and we save the details and the longer correspondence for the letters. So it had been minimal communication for a few weeks. I/we (it's really a toss up who is more neurotic about checking the mail, me or the girls??!!) have been checking the mail daily for weeks waiting for the letter with the pics to show up and to no avail. I was kind of sick thinking that all his pics had been lost and bummed because other than the pics the Barkers had texted we hadn't seen any since him leaving on his mission. It had been 3 weeks and no letter so I had resolved that it was lost in mail no mans land somewhere. UNTIL, a random Wednesday night when in the middle of making dinner the doorbell rings and it is our neighbor 4 doors down and behold she is holding a little white envelope. I SQUEALED, I know what that is and all but gave her a big hug. She was apologizing because she had been out of town so it had just been sitting at her house for a couple weeks. As we chatted she shared that she had just been to South Dakota and Wyoming, what a funny coincidence!! Kiley and a few of the friends were down watching Duck Dynasty so Mal and I loaded the pics and enjoyed looking at them all by ourselves when the kids finally made their way back up and saw what we were doing this was the scene that transpired. It literally melts my heart to look at this and realize how lucky we are to have the friendship/relationships we do! Just look at the besotted look on my girls faces.
When everyone was done it dawned on me that Braydon had made reference to 2 SD cards in his letter but Malerie had only produced one. I asked if there was another one in there and she answered no, but just to satisfy myself I double checked and sure enough there was another one stuck in the very corner of the envelope. SCORE!! More pics.
As I looked through these I had such a mix of emotions. Thankful to see my sons smiling, happy face but heart broken for the mother of the missionary that had just passed away. He was one of Braydon's room mates at the MTC and a great number of the pics were of him. As a mother I cannot even begin to imagine the great loss his mom and family must be experiencing. I know Braydon as well as a number of missionaries that served with this young man had instantly grown to love him and they had formed a tight bond right from the beginning. They shared a letter the mission president read at a service the missionaries held for Elder Bennet, it is one of the most beautiful, insightful, comforting things I have ever read. I would love to post it because I know there is definitely something to be learned from it but feel it would be a violation of privacy. We will continue to pray for comfort and peace for his family and loved ones.

Just a few of the pictures from the MTC.
Elder Perkins and Elder Dunlap- Clearly having a good time!
 Not sure what these two were about but thought they were fun!

President and Sister Anderson

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