The morning of July 6, 2016, came quickly and not quick enough. The much anticipated day seemed far away for so long and before we knew it, it was upon us. We made plans to leave early as to arrive in Provo early enough to enjoy lunch together as a family. Ten minutes into the drive, Luke realized he'd forgotten his temple clothes. We turned around and headed home to get them-- so much for lunch. This delay put us into a rush but looking back was a blessing in disguise. Being in a rush gave us less time to dwell upon the fact he was leaving.
We arrived in Provo and stopped at BYU to check Heather out of tennis camp. We made our way to the temple grounds for family prayer and goodbyes. Having five girls in the family led to an emotional moment. Especially when family prayer was said and the mother couldn't hold in her emotions as she was on the border of laughing and crying. Laughing because she noticed the distorted faces of her daughters as they were trying to hold in the tears and crying because she realized this was so long for quite some time. The noise that leaked out of this raw emotion was indescribable and led to much laughter through tears. Luke's comment was, "Mom, I have never heard a sound like that!" To which her response was, "Well, now when you are laying in bed and feeling a little low, you can look back at this time and have a laugh-out-loud kind of moment." The mother was glad she could provide.
We loaded up the car and pulled into the MTC. Missionaries lined the street with bright smiles and furious waves for the new arrivals and their families. As soon as the brake lights came on, a young elder was at the car door ready to help Elder Anderson with his bags. A quick round of hugs were exchanged and he was off. The whole thing lasted nearly as long 2.7 seconds on a bull named "Blue Man Choo" (that is a family joke that would take too long to explain.)
Elder Anderson left us to begin a new chapter in his life that will likely be one of the climaxes of his personal biography. We have been blessed to be a part of his life so far. He has laughed with us, cried with us, lifted us and grown with us. We will miss him in our home but know he will be blessed in his service and we will be blessed as we hear his adventures and support him in his efforts.