Today we said goodbye to Garrett for two years. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It's funny how we prepare our boys--from birth really--teaching them how to pray, preparing them for baptism and confirmation, teaching them the gospel of Jesus Christ, listening to them sing "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission" in Primary, working on their Duty to God alongside them, making sure they're enrolled in seminary throughout high school, getting them to early-morning mission prep class their Senior year, etc., etc. The mission call is the ultimate goal, right? Then why is it so bittersweet when the day arrives and the only thing you've ever wanted for them is here and it is SO. PAINFUL!
I know I'm a bit prejudiced but Garrett is one of the most prepared young men I know (next to my nephew Connor) to serve a mission. He's mature, he knows and lives the Gospel, he has a strong testimony, he can talk to anyone and he knows how to love. Most of all, he is willing AND worthy to serve. He will be a fabulous missionary!
The reason it is so difficult for me as John put into words as we slowly drove away from the Missionary Training Center today: "Two years is a REALLY long time..." with tears streaming down both of our faces.
...and as many friends who said goodbye to Garrett stated in their written messages: "Return with honor." I KNOW he will. I love you son and will miss you TERRIBLY but wouldn't have you doing anything else at this time of your life!