Sunday, June 9, 2013

Off To The Missionary Training Center

Natalie made it off to the MTC successfully Wednesday.  She flew out of Seattle on a Delta flight to Salt Lake City, UT at 7:00 in the morning.  She had the best surprise when her big brother, Benjamin, unexpectedly showed up at the house at 5:15 a.m. to come to the airport with us.  Ben took care of getting her  checked in while I met up with them after parking the car. Natalie's dad met up with us at the airport.

I haven't decided if this is a lot of luggage or  not; we are, after all, taking about all of a woman's clothing, accessories, supplies, etc. for 18 months! She did squeak in under the weight limit with each bag toggling between 50 and 51 lbs, plus the two allowed carry-ons.
It meant a lot to Natalie that  her dad took time off so he could fly down with her and take her  to the MTC. 
June 4th, the night before Natalie went into the MTC, she was set apart to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and given a priesthood blessing by Pres. Gordon Tanner of the Redmond, WA Stake.  Pres. Tanner invited all of Natalie's immediate family to attend this special, sacred event with her.  The Spirit was strong and sweet as Pres, Tanner instructed us about Natalie's calling.  He referred us to a scripture in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 5:13:

" Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God.  I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."

The Spirit bore strong witness that as a missionary, Natalie is set apart to and is serving as a  representative and disciple of Jesus Christ in His name to do His work. Pres. Tanner reminded us of the spiritual gifts, that are given to Christ's ministers so that they may bless his children by bringing them the fullness of His gospel and Heavenly Father's plan of happiness for His children.

This was a very tender and sweet time for all of us.  Pres. Tanner had us start with an opening song.  Natalie chose the hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour." I was doing just fine singing without crying for once until I looked up and saw my dear daughter singing in tears across the table.

After the hymn and an opening pray Pres. Tanner discussed many scriptures with us concerning missionary work.  Natalie was then set apart and blessed.  Before we ended, Natalie taught us a lesson on the gospel, and Pres. Tanner then invited each of us to give Natalie some parting advice. 

After her setting apart it was picture time!

Benjamin shared advice with Natalie that he learned from his mission to Paris France.  He told her to speak with everyone even if she felt awkward or afraid.  He pointed out that the Spirit can not touch others if she does not take the first step.
Natalie sure loves her little brothers, Seth and Brent, and was so happy the could be there with her.

Natalie's sister, Rachelle, has always been there for her.  She sewed a special dress for Natalie which she took with her on her mission.

 But it is her nephew, Maxwell, that Natalie said she is going to miss the most while she gone.  I think you can see why. He will be two before she gets back!

Natalie's dad, Derek, and her step-mom, Ti, were also there. Ti shared a special story about an experience she had with the gospel in Vietnam.  
Grandma Cheryl always makes it a point to attend the important events in her grandchildren's lives so of course she was there. 

Mom, Cherie, and step-dad, Luke, were so happy and excited to be there with Natalie.

All the best to you Hermana Haynes!  We love you! See you in 18 months!


1 comment:

  1. I can see why you are going to miss Maxwell so much. He is adorable!
    Hope the MTC is treating you well.
    Have a wonderful week.