Since Erin's check in time wasn't until 1:45 we had some time to take things slow that morning. Erin woke up at 6:30 -- standard missionary time -- since she had been set apart the night before. We packed her last things in her big suitcases, wrote a few notes, had prayer together and loaded the car. We picked up Aubri and Addey from school, then Garret from work, and headed to Provo. We needed a few more items that we hadn't been able to find, but knew we could get in Provo. After a few stops, she was ready and it was time.
As we neared the Missionary Training Center, Erin (and all of us) wanted to have a chance for some final hugs and goodbyes and to not be rushed at the MTC drop off so we found a place to park the car and each one of us got a wonderful LONG hug from Erin. It was a tender time for all of us.
Then, it was drop off time. As we pulled up to the curb, we were greeted by a cute, smiling sister missionary who helped Erin with her bags. Another round of quick, last minute hugs -- all of us trying to keep our emotions under control and she was off with a smile and a wave. *sigh*
Finally it got the best of Garret and I and we drove away with lumps in our throats and tears streaming down our faces. We couldn't be more proud of her or love her more. Today she joins over 88,000 missionary world-wide who are dedicating their lives to the God they love and his children.