Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 26, 2010 - from Utah to Illinois

Brady's travel plans consisted of climbing out of bed at 2:30 a.m. and getting ready to leave the MTC in the dead of the night. He thought he might be able to call us from the airport so I e-mailed him our schedule. I had my cell phone with me during seminary and told the students that if a call came in, they could excuse themselves and be on their merry way. (I am not so lenient with their phone calls.) I got home from seminary and checked messages on our home phone, and there was a message from Brady at FIVE A.M.!! I had my alarm set for 5, Melanie usually gets up at 5 - how did we miss him?? We didn't even hear the phone ring! He said "Well, I thought you'd all be up for family prayers by now, but . . . um . . . ok, I hope I get a chance to call you during our layover in Texas" (We have prayers at 6:00 Brady, have you forgotten our schedule in 3 short weeks?) Well, it certainly was good to hear his voice, but that would have been sad if that was all we got. Luckily, his stop in Texas was 2 1/2 hours so Dave and I were both here when he called and we got to talk to him for a good 45 minutes. He had only flown from Utah to Texas, and already was dealing with jet lag or something. He was so exhausted, he started dozing on the plane assuming someone would wake him up when they served breakfast. (apparently he hasn't flown recently, . . . no breakfast, you don't even get a bag of peanuts anymore - but way to stay optimistic!) Anyway, he woke up over Texas, incoherent and couldn't figure out what time of day it was, thought it was late afternoon and couldn't get a sense of time or place for a few minutes. Then he realized he missed seeing any mountains out the window of the plane and most likely wouldn't see any again until 2012.
He sounded like he really had a good 3 weeks in the MTC and had learned so much. He said he couldn't even believe how much he could remember and retain from day to day. He made good friends within his district, had an extremely talkative companion, was surprised by the noise level that missionaries made up and down the hallways after time for lights out, never slept very well, enjoyed a little snow, loved the devotionals, got to attend the Provo temple once, hosted new missionaries once, had some interesting experiences with "mock" investigators, and was excited to get on to the real work in Illinois. He had absolutely no idea what the next few days would bring, not even knowing what town he would be living in. We are anxious to get a note or e-mail from him to hear how his first day or two went.
He said he was feeling bad that every moment is filled and he can't even find a minute to say thank you to everyone that is taking such good care of him. Gretchen, he got your package. It surprised him that you'd go out of your way to do that for him. He love it, Thanks. And Debbie , he said on his last evening there, he checked the mail then turned the keys over to one of the sisters. She found him later in the evening and said she decided to check the mail one more time and there was a package of cinnamon rolls from you guys. He was so glad she thought to go back and check or he would have missed out. It was a delicious 3 a.m. breakfast as they were heading to the airport.
We are loving Brady's letters and e-mails. He is writing so much more than I thought he would. As you know, he's not a long-talker. But his letters are perfect for us to get a sense of what he's experiencing and feeling. He calls me 'Mother' in his letters. This is a bit curious to me. He has never called me 'Mother' in his entire life.
So, he is somewhere in Illinois now (or maybe in Iowa, Missouri or Indiana -- his mission spills a little into neighboring states). If you are reading this blog and want to send a note to Brady in the comments here, I will forward it on to him. His mailing address for old fashioned paper and envelope mail is on the side bar.