|Proof! He made it.|
It dropped as I started down the escalator to my train. A text from the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML came in, asking 'Can you call me?' Something was up. I lose all phone service in the bowel of Penn Station so I couldn't call her. As I texted her back that I would call her as soon as we were out of the tunnel in Queens, I got an email but only the title would download (thanks again for the CRAPTASTIC wireless, Amtrak #firstworldproblems). The title read as follows: ITINERARY ELDER PARKER T LYONS
Wait?! What?! He only got his formal assignment Friday. Suffice to say, that escalated quickly.
Thanks to the aforementioned wireless (less being the operative word), I could not download the email until we got to Queens. Never has any one been so delighted to be in Queens than I was at that moment. At a little after 6PM, I read that The Boy would once again be called The Missionary Formerly Known As The Boy (TMFKATB) because he was leaving the next day at 830AM for his new assignment in the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission. I immediately called the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and upon hearing her calm voice, I was reminded why I am married to the most amazing woman in the world. At this point, she'd known for about 30 minutes that her son would be out the door in twelve hours. She'd already outlined what needed to be done and was heading out the door with The Boy to pick up what was needed. Her voice betrayed not a hint of panic. She, as she always does, had it under control.
So I spent the next couple of hours trying to figure out if there was any way I could weasel out of the two conference calls I was hosting the next morning. They were starting at 6AM and would go to 930AM and The Boy needed to be to the airport early as he had no seat assignment for the first leg. I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to be taking him to the airport.
When I got home, we spent a few hours together, packing and doing last minute things. The Boy called family and then he was set apart (religious ordnance) once again as a full-time missionary, so it was lights out at 1030PM for him. Suffice to say, it was not lights out for his mother and me.
This morning dawned early. We had a last family prayer and I dashed into my downstairs office as TMFKATB and his mother left for the airport. It was a flurry of emotions - pride, sadness (because I'm going to miss him), melancholy (stupid, stupid conference calls), love, gratitude - for me as they drove away.
Having him home for three short weeks was an amazing experience. We saw a young man exercise faith in such a powerful way. Several times while he was home, I could see him kneeling in prayer at his bedside. We prayed for his quick recovery and that he could serve again as he so deeply desired to do. Once he got his new assignment, he prayed that he wouldn't have to wait long before he could leave. His prayers were answered.
And so were ours this afternoon when an e-mail arrived from his new mission president. It included the picture you see above, I'll share the first paragraph of the letter:
What a pleasure it is to welcome Elder Parker Lyons into the Utah Salt Lake City
South Mission. I am impressed by his desire to serve. He is well and in high spirits as he
anticipates the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Please be assured
that we will be watching over him while he is here.
So all is well in our world. So starting next week, it will be back to regular weekly updates from the field here and in his mission blog. I'm glad will be able to share those things again. Thank you all for being a part of this experience.