Thursday, February 19, 2009

Elder Call Enters MTC

It was Wednesday, 18 February 2009, and Elder Call was awake when I phoned him at 7 a.m. Mountain Time, at his request, to make sure he was up and at ‘em. He sometimes tends to sleep through alarms, and on this day—of all days—he did not want to miss a single thing. After telling him to "go conquer the world," we said our “I love yous,” and that was the last time we’ll talk until Mother’s Day.

Elder Call, who stayed the night at his Uncle Bruce and Aunt Patti’s house in Pleasant Grove, was picked up by his oldest sister, Rachel—a student at Brigham Young University. The two of them went to the MTC, arriving at the appointed hour on Wednesday, 18 February 2009. Rachel was able to participate in the orientation for families and then, tearfully, said goodbye.

Bob will be leaving for his mission to the Idaho Pocatello Mission on about 10 March 2009. For anyone who wants to send him letters, notes, or packages (at least I believe packages are still allowed to be sent to the MTC), his address is

Elder Robert Call
MTC Mailbox #313
ID-POC 0310
2005 N. 900 East
Provo, Utah 84606-1793

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Elder Call Leaves from O'Hare

It was a cool morning. . .not too cold, but with a brisk wind it felt a little more chilly than it appeared. At first the sky was overcast, but as the morning progressed, the sun started to shine through. Bob arose bright and early and was dressed in his missionary apparel and packing his final things by 7 a.m. The rest of us got ready, loaded up the car, and began the drive to O'Hare International Airport.

As the sun began to peek through the clouds, I thought of the words penned by Parley P. Pratt:

The morning breaks; the shadows flee;
Lo, Zion's standard is unfurled!
The dawning of a brighter day,
Majestic rises on the world.

The clouds of error disappear
Before the rays of truth divine;
The glory bursting from afar,
Wide o'er the nations soon will shine.

The Gentile fulness now comes in,
And Israel's blessings are at hand.
Lo, Judah's remnant, cleansed from sin,
Shall in their promised Canaan stand.

Jehovah speaks! let earth give ear,
And Gentile nations turn and live.
His mighty arm is making bare
His covenant people to receive.

Angels from heaven and truth from earth
Have met, and both have record borne;
Thus Zion's light is bursting forth,
To bring her ransomed children home.

We made it to O'Hare in very good time, with no traffic to speak of to slow us down.

As we said our goodbyes in the terminal, just outside the security entrance to Terminal 3's L gates, I was overwhelmed with love for our wonderful son, who has been such an example to me and Mom, to his siblings, to other youth in the ward, and to his peers at school. Shannon cried first, and then the rest of us started to cry, but we eventually dried our tears and realized how blessed we are to have a son worthy, willing, and prepared to serve the Lord.

I wondered, as our son walked through the metal detector and I watched him walk down the terminal and disappear into the crowds, if this just might be how we felt in our premortal existence when a loved one departed for mortality. . .

Elder Call's mission to the Idaho Pocatello Mission begins with his being set apart. . .

It started on February 15, 2009. . .Elder Call's setting apart as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was fortunate to have his Grandmother and Grandpa Call come up from Bedford, Texas, for this sacred event. Elder Call was set apart by President Jack D. Ward, our stake president, at about 1 p.m.

The bishop's office seemed to fill with light and peace as President Ward instructed Elder Call and his family on a few matters, then proceeded to set him apart. Elder Call's dad and grandpa were priveleged to stand in the circle while this most holy event took place. . .what a beautiful spirit was present as President Ward pronounced specific blessings upon him.

Following the setting apart, President Ward suggested the family stay for a few minutes and have a family prayer. Many tears were shed as all basked in the presence of the Spirit. The family then knelt in prayer and Dennis Call, Elder Call's grandpa, offered a family prayer.