Today I said good bye to Elder Hills.
We had a beautiful meeting with the Stake President for his setting apart. As a father of four and has sent 4 missionaries he was very aware of how we were all feeling about Elder Hills leaving. While we rejoice with him on his call and desire to serve the Lord in Tempe, Arizona we are sadden to see him leave. He asked us to call David, Elder until he is set apart 2 years from now, as this will be his name. He will no longer be known as David to the world.
The most ingenious thing that the Stake President did is that we had an opening prayer but not a closing. He said the closing will be given in 2 years when he has returned and he has been released, then we will have a closing prayer. Isn't that cleaver!
Elder Hills leaves for the MTC (Missionary Training Center) tomorrow. Apparently that have changed it even more. It used to be that parents could check in their child then go to an orientation with them and then say good bye. Then I heard you say good bye when checking in. NOW you park in the parking lot and 2 other missionaries immediately come up and grab the luggage and say "Welcome Elder (or Sister)" and promptly take them to check in. Good thing I'm not going, or I might make a scene. :-D
While I felt it was not my call to serve as a full time Mission seeing my brother prepare and WANT to serve has been inspiring, and heart warming. It has kindled the light I once had to serve to the best of my ability while not being a missionary. While this light went very much down with getting married and moving, I know it is time to start caring those pass along cards again. I hope we all have the desire to serve, not necessarily in a churchie way, but as a kind person. To take time to help the grandma load her car, or offer to help a mom with 4 children in the grocery store line, or even just a little smile.
We have all been Called To Serve in this life, our callings are individually tailored to us as individuals, as such we are all expected to act on this service so that we can be all we can be, and make each other the best we can be.