By: Leslie Smith
Our day was long, emotional and absolutely wonderful!
The kids went to school after coming home to warm up from our overpass party and having a quick breakfast. Poor Jake was so tired that during seminary he had quite the funny story happen to him. He was asked to say the closing prayer and said, "Please bless Brother Barney's lesson to nourish and strengthen our bodies."
Our phone call lasted for almost an hour. It would have been longer, but they ended up changing gates and so he had to run and meet up with the other Elders. I will admit that our phone call seemed more like a one sided interview for most of the time. And if I were the boss, he would never have been hired. My boy just isn’t one to “chat” much! He seemed a little nervous to me and very tired. I was left a little worried even though I know he was also excited to go out. Next time we know that it will probably be a better idea to speak to him one on one instead of a large group gathered around speaker phone. He spent the last 15 minutes speaking privately to his girlfriend and she said that he was much more talkative then. He also called his dad (who couldn’t get off work) for a few minutes after changing gates and they had a great father/son talk.
Here are a few highlights of our conversation:
He and Elder McPhee had made a goal to place a Book of Mormon before they called home. They talked to a man for almost 20 minutes and shared many great feelings about religion back and forth, but they found out that he was Buddhist and was not interested in receiving The Book of Mormon. It was a great experience for them and he said they respected each others religious beliefs. After a few more failed attempts, they decided to call home anyway. It was great to hear that story. Missions have their good and bad times so it's good for him to learn and grow from these few failed attempts to make a contact. I'm proud of him for trying and for setting such a great goal
He said the everything in Texas is huge, especially the airport. They taxied for almost 20 minutes just to get to the gate!
He saw a tree being chopped down at the MTC this past week. He said that it was fairly large and it almost fell the wrong way onto the building!
He said that "You become a nerd at the MTC. I totally need a pocket protector!"
Well, after all the complaining that the MTC food wasn't good (which he still claims he didn't like) he left having gained 8lbs! He's up almost 30 lbs. from his football/track days of a year ago! Back then he couldn't gain weight no matter how hard he tried. It's finally catching up. He said he does sit ups every night in his room and plays an hour of basketball everyday, but nothing works. He did say he had a plan for when he got to Guatemala..."I'll just take a big swig of the water down there! That'll make me lose 25 lbs real fast!" Noooooooo!
Their district had a sad experience when one of the Elders decided to go home after a few days. Jordan said that almost everyone wanted to go home the first week. He didn't really elaborate why, other than it's just really hard mentally and emotionally. But that they all got much better after the first Sunday. This one particular Elder did not, however. They were told he had decided to leave and they all helped him pack and take his luggage to the main entrance. He said they were all so sad and were crying for their friend. The next morning their branch president told them that this young man had gone home. Jordan thought to himself, "Ya we know. We helped him pack. Please don't remind us." The branch president continued, "I got a call from him last night at 1:30 am and he wants to come back. I talked to the MTC president and it's been approved. He'll be back later this evening for Priesthood." They were SO happy. They all bore their testimonies about it and feel that their prayers all had something to do with him coming back.
Jordan received a care package from the bank where he worked before his mission. It was full of "bank candy" and snacks that they provide for the tellers along with a couple Gatorades that they always have on hand. It was so nice of them and quite a surprise for Jordan. They included a random fingerprint ink pad. On their paper of well wishes they included a message for "The World's Greatest Ninja!" Jordan and his BYU roommates are obsessed with ninjas and are quite convinced that they are pretty good ones. Jordan decided that he would leave behind the fingerprint pad as a "token" for the new missionaries coming into his room after he left. I guess it's an MTC tradition to leave something behind for the new elders coming in. What did he happen to find left behind for him?......Nothing less than a little yellow Ninja figurine! He couldn't believe it! It became his lucky traveling buddy and I'm sure we will see pictures of it throughout his mission!
Oh and Yes!!! He did see the sign and all of us on the overpass. He told the driver to honk, but he didn't. :( He said he saw someone with a hoodie and someone with a poofy coat. He was on the first bus and Elder Miller was on the second bus but he didnt' happen to see it. A funny thing about the sign was that right after the second bus passed, a big semi truck drove by and the wind from it ripped our sign. The heart ripped right in half. Kind of ironic I thought since our hearts were ripping just a little bit at that moment.
Jordan was tired having been up since 4 am and not sleeping much the night before. He said he was excited, but was honest to say that he was nervous and scared as well. He was worried about his spanish not coming along like he had hoped. He was so thankful to be able to be going to the CCM though and excited to get out to Guatemala.
It was great to hear his voice, but it wasn't the crazy loud confident voice that we are used to hearing. It was much more reserved and quiet. So I was left missing my "boy" because he wasn't the same. I'm excited to see him grow and know that with the Lord's help, he can and will do many wonderful things.
Forget Me Nots
5 years ago