Love in the month of February

Wow! Time just keeps going faster as I get older.  I’m still loving my job, and since things have slowed down a bit, I get to get back into my research for what the future computer labs will be like next year.

Valentine’s day is coming up, and Mikki and I have had some experiences this past week that really have taught us more about love.

First of all, I love my family.  On Tuesday evening, we went to Cannonville to spend our last evening with Chelsea as she would be entering the Missionary Training Center the next day.  We had a great time together, and we were able to be there with President Chenoweth the next morning as she was set apart as a full-time missionary for the church.  I felt a little jealous, as I do miss the feelings and revelation that comes to missionaries in the service of the Lord.

We then made the trip up to Provo with all of the family (George, Teresa, Chelsea, and Shan).  We had some good discussions and laughs as we made the drive.  When we got to Provo, we decided to eat at the Olive Garden, and we only had a little over an hour before we needed to drop Chelsea off.  We waited for a good amount of time, and I guess they didn’t have any larger tables open up, as many groups of 2 or 3 that had come after us, were being seated.

Chelsea was getting pretty nervous, and I though back to my lunch before going into the MTC.  I had been pretty nervous as well.  I’m sure she had similar thoughts like, “I’m really not going to see my family for this whole time as a missionary; Is this really what I’m supposed to be doing? I already miss being at home.” With the way things were going at the Olive Garden, we decided we’d better just go to Zupa’s instead.

When I’ve usually been to Zupa’s, the lines are always long, but they move pretty quick.  Thankfully, when we went in, there really wasn’t a line.  We all ate pretty quick, not necessarily because of what time it was, but I think we just were all a little nervous too as we knew that Chelsea was going to be gone soon.

This was the first missionary drop-off experience that I have had since being home from my mission.  It was also the first one that I had since they had changed the way they have them come.  I had gone through the old way where they have the family go into the chapel, sing Called to Serve, say our good-byes, and walk out the separate exits.  Now they give the missionary a time to just get dropped-off at the curb of the MTC.  They previously instruct the families to say their good-byes before dropping them off.

We had about 15 minutes before we had to drop Chelsea off, so we went to the parking lot in-between the MTC and Provo temple.  There were quite a few families doing the same thing of going to the parking lot, saying their good-byes, and then taking them across the street to drop them off.

We took a few pictures, let Chels know how proud we are of her, shed some tears, and then made the short drive to the MTC to drop her off.  They basically have a line of about 30 cars all at once line up to the curb.  They have maybe 3 or 4 missionaries per vehicle help get all the luggage, and then point the missionary in the right direction of where to go next.  In the matter of just a few minutes, we all just drive off leaving them in the hands of the Lord to start their mission experience.

We love Chels a lot, and are glad that she made the decision to serve a mission.  I know that the Lord is aware of our needs and will help us make the best decisions for our life.  If we follow the guidance we receive from him, he will bless us so much every time.

As for the latter part of this week, on Saturday, our stake put on a Valentine’s dance.  It is really fun to be a part of a University Married stake, where our leaders plan and help us all build our marriages.  Mikki and I went out to eat at Milt’s, as we were treating that day as if it was Valentine’s Day.  We figured we would beat the rush so we wouldn’t have to try to have dinner when everyone else goes out.  After dinner we got ready for the dance.  I finally wore my Bow-tie that Mikki had given me about 6 years ago when she had gone to London.

We had a fun time dancing, singing, and socializing with many of our friends.  We have the largest ward in our stake, and a lot of our ward went to the party.  There still wasn’t a ton of people as it was kind of snowy outside. I’m so glad that we went, and were able to celebrate the love that Mikki and I have.  I hope all of my family and friends take the opportunity to show their spouse, and family how much they love them during this Valentine’s day that is coming up.

I love you all, and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s from Jim and Mikki