We joined the other groupies of missionary families eating a final lunch in Provo before the MTC beckons. We were joined by Thomas' cousin, Adrial, who was able to give some last minute advice. Thanks for the company, advice, friendship, and last minute gift. We are interested to see why Thomas needed to wait till Thursday night before opening the gift.
While many families spent their last few minutes talking and hugging at the Temple, we decided to do our talking and hugging at the BYU track stadium. Thomas worked very hard during high school in order to run at that track for the Utah State Track and Field Championships. His hard work allowed him to run three years at the competition. Good accomplishment and memories mixed with some challenging times. (just ask Thomas how brutal and violent a track race can be... x3 races his senior year) As Thomas eloquently expressed, Provo is the site of some of his biggest challenges and disappointments in life. Wisely, he knows that the first few weeks being away from home will be a challenge. However, he has overcome challenges thrown at him before and knows that this will be no different. He will conquer.
There is perhaps nothing more touching and poignant than the love between a mother and her son. A beautiful memory and touching moment
As Betsy said, Hannah only had her son, Samuel, for only three years. She was able to have Thomas for 18 years and now she lends him to the Lord... and she gets him back at the end of his two year mission service.27 For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.
Finally, the MTC curbside drop-off. Thomas was hoping some friends who are currently in the MTC would be waiting to greet him on the curb. However, with a long line of cars being directed to one of many curbs, it was left to the unknown (to us) Elder Davis to unload bags and help
Thomas Elder Johnson into the hallowed halls of the MTC.
It was a long drive home to Logan... now the contents of this blog will be provided by Elder Johnson's email and other communications. We are looking forward to a great two years.