It is getting close. Eishelle and Danielle spoke in Sacrament meeting at the church February 17th to say their farewell to the members of our Plainview Ward. Friends and classmates from their high school came and witnessed. Bishop Whitney (dad) presented their missionary plaques with their favorite scriptures in it. This is surreal: my girls are going on a mission. We had a “linger longer” (meaning to linger a little longer to eat and celebrate) after church for members to personally say their goodbyes and “see-you-later” kind of stuff. Sisters in the Relief Society did an amazing job bringing food and I have to really thank them all. What an amazing group of sisters. You just ask them and they deliver. Some of them weren’t even asked at all and they brought food!!!
A little after the linger longer, Eishelle put her plaque in the “Called to Serve” showcase and then she was set apart as a full time missionary by our Stake President Mark Hardman. Pres Hardman pronounced a blessing to Eishelle that left my heart so warm and we all felt comforted that everything is going to be alright. I love our stake president. He is truly a man of God. Very special moment when friends and family expressed some loving words to my oldest child. Choked throat and Kleenex boxes were so much in demand as a lot of tears (of joy, I hope) were shed. Hugs to church sisters, daddy and Michael are the only hugs allowed at this time until she finishes her mission (#missionrules).
Monday night to Tuesday morning was one sleepless, “not-a-wink” kind of night. I helped Eishelle pack, unpack and pack one more time. I was tired but the excitement of having a daughter going on a mission filled my mind like caffeine does to my graveyard shift co-workers. I was awake. I guess I just couldn’t entertain tiredness because there was so much to do in such little time. I’ve been asking Eishelle days back if she was packed and she would tell me “almost”. Well, well, well … she was not, and this very excited missionary mom was so ready to help. 5 o’clock NY time, we were ready to go. Everyone hopped into the van and at JFK Airport 20 min after, we arrived. Emotions escaped without permission. Teary eyes, sniffles, throats choked up, hugs, kisses, more hugs and more kisses. “Make us proud Eishelle!!! See you in 18 months!!!”, as Bill hugged Eishelle. Danielle and I followed her until we could not anymore. I am sure Eishelle will be sleeping up in the clouds dreaming of what will happen at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) when she will step into those doors. That was about 2 weeks ago.
First Sunday of March came and as usual a fast and testimony Sunday. This is a Sunday when members of the church fast for 2 meals (24 hrs), donate the amount of money for the meals fasted and then bear testimonies about Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of His church. The money is then donated to the church as a fast offering to help members that needs temporal help. Danielle got up and bore her testimony. I felt that this girl is ready, very ready to go on a mission. I felt her missionary spirit. After church was over, she also placed her plaque in the “Called to Serve” showcase. Two days after, we were again in the same high council room with Stake President Mark Hardman and Sister Carol Hardman and other members of the ward and other wards. “Deja vu”, Bill called out. Yes, we were here 2 weeks ago for Eishelle and now it is Danielle’s turn to be set apart as a full time missionary. Another beautiful blessing was pronounced over Danielle’s head by our stake president and by several other men BIll included, making me feel so comforted hearing that the angels will go with her wherever she goes and the same blessing that he gave Eishelle that we as their family will be taken care by these angels as they are serving. Friends and family also spoke and expressed their love to Danielle. Very special night.
We went home after dining out and looks like Danielle learned from her sister how packing can be such an ardous job. Danielle was packed. Just needed a little help from me zipping it down, and she’s done, though we got only 2 hrs of undisturbed shut eye. Eishelle wrote us a list of what she forgot to bring and ended up Danielle bringing another extra bag. Oh well, I hope Danielle did not forget anything because Noelle (our 3rd child) is not going to the MTC until after 4 years… haha or post office is always there if ever.
JFK airport here we are again. This time though as we said our goodbyes, no tears, no open sadness … we are actually better this time. We have mastered our emotions. Hugs, kisses, “love you”, “bye”, “tell Eishelle HI from all of us”. We, as a family have fully understand that Eishelle and Danielle are ANGELS ON ERRAND and we do not want to compete with God. This is His time.