It is done. Yesterday my baby boy entered the Mission Training Center and began down the path to becoming a young man in service to the Lord.
We checked out of our hotel at 11:00 and drove over to the Provo Temple to take some pictures. We had hoped to attend a session there, but time got away from us. We've been told that Jacob will attend sessions there every week until he leaves Provo (in 3 weeks or so).
He looked so grown up and handsome in his missionary clothing that it nearly took my breath away.
From there we headed straight to the MTC, just a few blocks from the temple. It was quite an experience! The curb around the building was lined with about a hundred young missionaries, all grinning and waving in welcome as we cruised by.
When we reached the end of this happy gauntlet, the two young men nearest to our truck leaped forward to greet Jacob warmly. Then one of them immediately jumped on the back of the truck to unload Jacob's two suitcases while the other earnestly assured me that they were going to take good care of my son.
It all happened so fast, I barely had time to blink. They say there's a lot less weeping since the MTC went to this missionary drive-by drop-off method instead of the family orientations of old. However, while Jacob was asking his new friends questions about what to expect next, I looked around and saw quite a few mothers sobbing into their handkerchiefs.
Ed and I both got a bit choked up as we said our good-byes (we were given a few moments for a final photo), but I didn't feel inclined to burst into tears. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Instead, a peaceful calm came over me, and I had the sensation that Jacob was standing in a pool of light, his face illuminated by it. It was as if I were handing my son directly into the arms of Jesus for His safekeeping.
That impression warmed and comforted me as Jacob was whisked away, and it will be that memory that sustains me for the next two years. Something whispers to me that Jacob has some incredible experiences ahead of him!