A friend of mine shared the following poem with me which expresses my feelings well as we send Rachel on her mission.
Children are like balloons with a message inside
They start out small
And we inflate them with something of ourselves.
As we pour our lives into them-
They spread sunshine, give joy, brighten the days of grandmas and grandpas and cheer up the sick.
They remind us of being young and that life is fragile.
They celebrate living!
When discouraged, they are like a balloon that deflates.
A simple openness allows us to refill them with hope for the future, a feeling that they are special and the knowledge that God loves them.
Their enthusiasm is like a balloon carried on the wind with never ending energy.
They sway and drift.
It's then that they need our prayers and loving guidance, without too much pressure that would cause them to burst.
The time comes sprinkled with tears and joy, when others are able to read the message we have written on their hearts.
So we let go and let God have His way with our precious balloons...
Not the end...but truly the beginning.
And so it is, as Rachel begins this journey with never ending energy (as you can tell from the pictures) she needs our prayers and loving guidance. So far, time has come with tears, patience and joy (the picture of Rachel in the MTC). Most importantly those she comes in contact with will be able to read the message etched on her heart. So, we have let go and will let God mold her more than He already has. Although it seems like the end, I know deep down in my heart it truly is the beginning.
Keep this poem in mind as you view these pictures...
|Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The night before leaving|
|Check-in at the airport|
|Emily and Rachel|
|Through tears and smiles, high five for D.C. and Jenny's AP test|
|One last hug from Dad|
|One last Melissa Hug|
Once she arrived at the Salt Lake City airport, her roommate, Hollie Vassar, and friend, Jen, picked her up and took her to lunch in Provo Canyon at Bridal Veil Falls. My deepest gratitude to Hollie and Jen who took the time to give her lots of tender loving care before entering the Missionary Training Center at 2 pm.
|Hollie, Rachel and Jen|
|Jen, Rachel and Hollie near the Provo LDS Temple. For those not familiar with this area, it is right across the street from the Missionary Training Center.|
|Rachel and Hollie|
Many of Rachel's friends from BYU work at the MTC. Her one friend, Marcela Martinez saw Rachel and took a picture of her an posted it on facebook. When I saw this picture late Wednesday night, it brought me extreme comfort to know she is happy and well. A picture is worth 1,000 words.
Inside the walls of the MTC!
Rachel and Marcela Martinez