Monday, August 31, 2009

Farewell, Elder!

Yup. My brother is a missionary. He has been for over a month, but I'm finally doing a post on his farewell & other missionary-ish stuff. Josh spoke in church on the 12th of July and gave a really nice talk. He sounded like a young man returning from his mission, not just leaving (was confident & his thoughts were well put together and presented). I'm really proud of him and just know that he'll be a great missionary.

Here's a picture of me with all three of my brothers. I realized that we don't have very many pictures of all 4 of us, so I'm glad that we got this before Josh left for 2 years!

My whole family! Dad, Mom, Matt, Josh, Chelsey, Audrey, Chris, Noah, me, Lincoln & Mark (left to right).

A three generation picture for Josh. (with our dad & his father)

Emily & Josh.

Several family members had the opportunity to attend the Bountiful temple (on 7/18) together before Josh left. It was really nice to be all together in the temple. (Now, from left to right again...) Grandma Shirlene, Grandpa Paul, Aunt Linda, Uncle Randy, Dad, Mom, Josh, Aunt Joy, me, Mark.

Josh with our parents.

After the temple, we went out to eat. A few additional relatives that weren't able to make it to the temple met up with us there too. Emily made this cute Elder cake for Josh too! :)

On the evening of Tuesday, July 21st - Josh was set apart as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A few of our family members, and Emily & her parents, were able to be there for the special event. Here is a picture of Emily and Josh before the setting apart...

...and Emily & Josh at the arms-length distance after the setting apart :)

The kids will be the ones who will change the most while Josh is gone. When he gets home, Noah will be starting kindergarten and Lincoln will be older than Noah is now! Crazy. They sure do love their uncle Josh though - and we'll make sure they remember him until he gets back.

Noah's silly pose/grin cracked me up in this picture.

Uncle Brent with Lincoln.

Josh with my mom's parents.

Josh with Emily & her parents. We'll miss having you at all our family stuff while Josh is gone & you're away at college, Emily...don't be a stranger!

Josh with our parents.

It didn't really sink in that I wouldn't see my baby-est brother for 2 years until we drove away (I'll admit that I did cry after we drove away). And, even though I know that Noah didn't fully comprehend what was going on - he seemed to understand a little bit that Josh was leaving for a really long time, and he gave Josh a really big tight hug. That was really sweet.

Mark & I before saying goodbye to the Josher.
The next morning my parents dropped him off at the MTC in Provo, and that was that! He's been there since then - learning Spanish and all the other scripture/missionary stuff that he can cram into his brain in 2 months. We love you, Josh!

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