Wednesday was a day of miserable joy! We are so happy that Braden is serving the Lord and willing to be a missionary and we miss him so much!
After a beautiful father's blessing and a tearful prayer we left home about 7:15 a.m. The drive to Provo was pretty uneventful. We stopped for gas in Cedar City and at the Walmart in Payson. At Walmart we bought paper and envelopes and stamps so that Braden could send letters.
We arrived in Provo and met Daniel at a Wendy's. We ate lunch and surprisingly I think everyone was able to eat! Then we drove up by the Provo Temple to the same spot where we had taken some pictures with Daniel before we left him at the MTC.
We took some pictures, but it was so cold. I think it was only about 8 to 10 degrees (a real warm-up from Scipio which was -22 degrees when we drove through there.) Max told the boys that they better give Braden a hug so the little boys went first. They were very cute hugging him around the legs and waist. Then Jeremy hugged him and cried. Daniel hugged him next and then Nathan. Of course Nathan was pretty emotional. It was a beautiful thing to see my boys really hugging each other. Then I hugged him (a good long hug) and then Max gave him a hug. We were all pretty emotional at that point.
We drove slowly down to the MTC. There were missionaries lined up all along the sidewalk waiting for new missionaries to come. As we were driving along the boys saw Ryan Butler a missionary from Hurricane. He saw us too and came down the sidewalk to meet us. Max and I got out of the car and gave Braden one last hug. Elder Butler was Braden's host. Our last view of Braden was of him walking and pulling his luggage into the building with Elder Butler.
The drive home was pretty somber. I stopped crying about 25 times! Derek said, "Raise your hand if you miss Braden." I couple of times he just said, "I miss Braden!" I would look back and he had a tear running down his cheek. It was so sweet!
We really missed him the last few days! He was so cute and fun his last week at home and the little boys especially will have some good memories of that week.
I think we are all feeling better today!