Thursday, February 4, 2010
What a wonderful day Wednesday. Elder Serrano spent the week packing, not only his suitcases but his room. It's amazing the amount of stuff a 19 year old can accumulate. Yesterday we got up, did some last minute packing and left for lunch about 11:00. Tucano's, being his favorite restaurant (all the meat you can eat, you know), was our destination. Some one in this family assured me we would take a long time at the restaurant, but that wasn't the case. By 12:00 we had pretty much stuffed ourselves silly.
With an hour+ left we couldn't decide what to do, so we went to my office (which had no patients at the time) and lay around on the couches until time to go.
We left for the Missionary Training Center about 12:40. He needed to report at 1:15 and we were relatively close. We got there and into the parking lot across the street about 12:50. There was a lot of traffic, imagine! We were able to get out and go across the street to take pictures. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I imagined at the the entrance where the good picture taking place is. When we were just about done another family came up to take pics. The mom called out "Hey Elder, where are you going?" Ben answered, "Pittsburgh" and guess what. That is where her elder is going too! It was so amazing. We got a pic of them and Elder Serrano made his first new friend. Elder Jensen.
We went back to the car around 1:10 and drove into the MTC. They have this all worked out quite well. You pull into the left and they have all these spots numbered along the curb. There are elders directing traffic and showing you were to park. Then there is an elder at the curb who starts unloading your luggage while you do your final hugs and goodbyes. We had a very patient elder who just stood politely while we all gave him a hug (Mom gave him two, of course). When there wasn't anything more to say or do, off they went up the sidewalk.
For all you mom's out there, I've never been inside the MTC to compare, but I think this has to be much better. It really was such a whirlwind that I didn't have time to really think about what was happening, so I wasn't crying my eyes out. It wasn't until I got home and realized that not only was I not going to see Ben for two years, but I couldn't even text him or call him to see how he was doing or what he was doing, that I really started in with the tears. Things are much better today, but even while writing this I'm starting to well up.
Thanks again for all the support both for Elder Serrano and for his family.