I was confident but nervous. Ready on the outside but totally terrified where it counts.
I had a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but it was greener than a lime.
I was Brazil bound — Belo Horizonte, to be exact — but likely to wait, like many young missionaries heading to that country, somewhere in the United States until my visa was processed.
I had two suitcases, crisp clothes and a new set of scriptures.
What I didn’t have, and desperately wanted, was a letter from my father. He’d been gone three years, and though my siblings filled in beautifully, I still longed for a final pep talk from the man who taught me that it was fine to look up to him, but even better to look all the way up to Him with a capital H.
That was July of 1990.
This week, 25 years later, my family is saying goodbye to my oldest child, Oakli. She’s stepping into the Missionary Training Center in Provo to begin a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.