Finally Tonya's phone chimed with an incoming message. It came from some unknown number. When she opened the message there was a picture of our Missionary son Brock. He stood there with a grin.
The message said " I just meet your son at the Airport!! He's Doing Great." Tonya started crying as she held it up for the Boys and I to see. We asked who is this and the person on the other end replied, "Just a girl at the airport!! I have a sister that just left on a mission so I figured I would have loved if someone took a picture of her and sent it to me!!
How greatful we are to some one who acts on an impression received. His plane was due to take off at 11:30 am We feared that some how he was running late and we wouldn't get time to talk to him. I can only imagine this young lady standing in line, imagine how awkward or uncomfortable it was to say hey let's take your picture and send it to your mom. But we are so grateful she did.
We thanked her for her kindness. She then text-ed, "He was so excited to send it to you! He'll be one great missionary!! and he'll call soon:)" We wish we knew who this person was. She has no Idea how much this picture and message meant to us.
The tears flowed as we looked into his face and could see our baby boy with all that anticipation in his eyes. He looked so happy, genuinely happy and so excited to get on his way.
About ten minutes later the phone rang and it was another unknown number. Tonya wanted to record his phone call so I downloaded an app that would let us record our conversation. When he called in, the app kicked on. We could hear him but he couldn't hear us. He hung up and called back again and again he couldn't hear us. Finally he called on Tonya's phone and we could talk. (there is a gospel principle on prayer in there somewhere if you look for it)
I can not explain the rush of emotion that encompasses a parent at moments like these. I couldn't say a word because the emotions were choking off the air so I could utter little more than a hick-up. Tonya asked how he was doing and what it was like with a bunch of sister missionaries. He told us they are phenomenal and amazing missionaries. He said they taught him so much. Brigham(11) asked how it was being a District leader in his District. Brock said it wasn't hard he said that the sisters didnt give him a chance to screw-up (He's learning early). and we talked about his comp and the other elders in the zone.
He told us that his visa is only good through June 3, 2015. So his return date might be sooner than we are thinking. (speculative)
We asked how his language was coming and Tonya asked him to say something. He started to speak. We listened as he rattle off a few sentences. In the middle of what he was saying he said "Joseph Smith" and we realized that he was bearing his testimony. Reflecting back there was a special feel when he spoke in that language which sounded almost musical. I thought at the time, "I must be getting that Proud dad feeling again" but it was something more. the spirit was in the words he was saying and though we didn't know the exact words we could feel the sweet feelings of the Holy Ghost. I thought about it all day and realized if he can bear witness of the truthfulness of the gospel to us and we could feel the spirit in a couple short sentences, then he will have the ability to bear witness to the people of the Philippines with greater power than I think he will even realizes. We told him we loved him. We wished him well and we said good bye and I love you, over and over. Until finally he hung up.
These are time when letting them go is so tough. We know he will be fine but he will be so incredible missed. It is such a blessing to be a parent of a missionary. The spirit whispers constantly, Gospel principles are taught daily and the comfort of a loving Heavenly Father is always there.
We sent a text message to the unkown phone number to thank them for allowing
We received a reply from the second unknown number that said, "Your very welcome. Btw. He was smiling and crying at the same time. I was in the military and was married to a man in the armed forces. So I know how important contact with family is in all aspects. The line was long for all I then to try and call family."
How grateful we are for two people who were so caring and selfless. Who sacrificed a little of themselves for the benefit of our little family. It adds a whole new meaning to the phrase "Perfect Strangers" because to Tonya and I we would consider these people "PERFECT". Our prayers go up for those two people who responded when prompted. They will never know how much their small acts of kindness meant to a first time missionary mom and dad, and We thank God for his tender mercies.
Just before bed I pulled up a Flight tracking program and found a map that actually tracks where the flight is at any given moment. Right now he is just under an hour from Tokyo where he will board a plane to Manilla. BTW I served my mission in Japan and Tokyo was the airport I flew into 28 years ago. I find that to be kind of cool.