On Tuesday evening, November 8th we had the sacred opportunity to participate in Brandon's setting apart as a full-time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President McGinn had some very kind words, as well as great counsel for Brandon and pronounced a beautiful blessing on his head. The spirit of the Lord was present, testifying of the truthfulness of the work to which Brandon is embarking.
It was wonderful to have Christopher and Ashley there and Brandon was touched by their effort to make the long drive so they could attend. It was also great to have Kimberly with us. Brandon has always loved his big sister. Her beautiful smile always adds joy to our special family occasions. Shannon and Jennifer have always looked up to Brandon and this mother is grateful for the example he is setting for them.
How lucky Brandon is to have grandparents that love him so much. He has a rich legacy of ancestors who have loved their Heavenly Father. It was Brandon's great great grandpa Bringhurst, that while on a mission to Germany, baptized his great great grandma on his mother's side. Brandon is the 96th missionary from her progeny.
Brandon's Grandma and Grandpa Tanner will truly be a blessing to him on his mission. Grandma Tanner is known as being an amazing letter writer and Grandpa's life example is not only a blessing to Brandon, but the entire family. Grandpa's testimony is a strength to us all and his desire to be part of this great missionary effort is strong. Click here to read Grandpa Tanner's Testimony.
This was a choice evening for us all.
On Wednesday morning the immediate family took Brandon out to breakfast before our last goodbyes.
Mixed emtions filled the morning. Sending off a missionary means sacrifice for the missionary and their family. Elder Quentin L. Cook said, "We must know what we do is pleasing before God and understand that this knowledge comes to us through sacrifice and obedience. Those who come unto Christ in this way receive a confidence that whispers peace to their souls and that will eventually enable them to lay hold upon eternal life." So there were tears because of the sacrifce, joy because of obedience, and a sweet peace knowing all would be well and blessings would come to not only our family, but the many families that are waiting for gospel in Denver, Colorado.
In the shadow of the beautiful mountains, with the Provo temple in the background, we hugged each other goodbye. There is a new plaque that rests on a table in our living room that reads: "Missionary: one who leaves their family for a short time so others can be with their families for eternity." Thanks to my sweet and dear friend Janet who shared that with me. It will be my strength for the next two years.
It was a beautiful day. President McGinn promised Brandon he would rejoice. On this day, we all rejoiced.