Dexter (aka Man Cub), the boy that made me an Aunt a little over 19 years ago, has been called to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the Auckland, New Zealand Mission – Mandarin Chinese speaking.
First, just let me get this out. I CANNOT BELIEVE MY LITTLE MAN CUB IS OLD ENOUGH TO SERVE A MISSION! Where did those 19 years go? And, why did they have to fly by so fast?
Okay, thank you for listening. I feel better now.
It has been so fun to watch Dexter, with the help of his family, prepare for this amazing adventure. Not just anyone can serve a mission; however, it does not take a perfect person to do so either – as no one is perfect. But, it takes a strong, courageous, moral, loving, forgiving, honest, and humble individual to “lay aside the things of this world” and serve selflessly in order to "seek for things of a better" world, and help others to seek those things as well.
Via Skype, a few months ago, we got to watch Dexter open and read his call, and then we were able to attend the temple with Dexter (thanks to Emily for watching Holland for us!) on January 7 as he went for the first time. And then, this past Sunday he gave his farewell talk (which is no longer supposed to be titled as such) in his ward.
Let me just add this: Several times I tried to get Dexter to give me any indication as to how he was feeling about his mission. Like - are you scared? are you nervous? what do you think it will be like? what do you think will be the most exciting thing? what do you have left to buy? (will you miss me??) etc., etc., etc. And every time his response was the same. Shoulder shrug accompanied with a mumbled "I don't know." It drove me nuts!!! I was thinking, man...how is this kid going to survive?
While listening to him speak in church, I could not have been more impressed. Seriously – all of a sudden I realized, WOW – he really is a man and so ready to serve! It made me cry – happy tears!
Oh, and last night I chatted with him and asked that he call and leave me a voice mail so we can hear his voice while he is gone. Tina’s idea – she’s so darn smart!
|Quality cousin time! Together, the always-will-be-oldest grandchild with the current-youngest grandchild!|
January 7, 2012
|The girl on the right took a picture of all of us that were there with Dexter...and then I snapped this one! haha. The girl in the red coat was MORE than happy to snuggle up to this almost-missionary! So funny.|
January 15, 2012
|After the farewell luncheon. See you in TWO YEARS, Elder Eppley!|