Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Going to the Missionary Training Center and The Power Walk!

June 4 & 5, 2013

The time had arrived for Ethan to leave for the Missionary Training Center. Ethan and Andrew said their goodbyes on June 2, then Andrew headed out for a week at the beach with his good buddies, one of whom has a beach house. Thankful for good friends, and such a great way for Andrew to transition into having Ethan gone on his mission.

So, it was now go time! The LDS Church operates 15 MTCs around the world, and Ethan was going to the one in Provo, Utah -- about a block from BYU where he had spent freshman year. Kind of a homecoming for him, but to an entirely new home. :) Doug took us to the airport, and I flew out with Ethan.

Sidenote: Our original leave date from Nashville was June 3, but due to mechanical problems with the plane and a canceled flight, we had to change to June 4, which meant Doug and I had one more night with Ethan at home -- special time. 


Saying goodbye to "Rove 2" --
proudly wearing a Texas sticker!

Ethan and Doug at the Nashville airport -- proud papa.

Last minute words of wisdom and smiles.
One more hug before boarding the plane, so sweet.
The photo is blurry because I'm crying while
taking it (and because I don't know how to
focus the camera on my iPhone!) :)


Waiting at the gate -- goofball Ethan!

Once we got to Salt Lake that evening, Ethan had the chance to see a few more family members:

Ethan with Uncle Scott Christiansen

Ethan with Uncle Grant Hedin, Cousin Ben Hedin
and his wife, Karli. Ben came to Nashville for
Ethan's Missionary Farewell Celebration
and Talk in Church.

The next day, Doug's parents and sister drove us to the MTC. It was a fun time with beautiful sunny weather -- the perfect day for Elder Christiansen to launch his missionary experience. Here we are saying our goodbyes in the driveway of Papa Clair 's and Grandma Joyce's house, because when you get to the MTC, you basically pull up at the curb and your missionary and his/her luggage hop out! You barely stop the car...jk...but it's a pretty quick process. So, there was more time in the driveway for hugs.

Ethan's grandparents: Clair and Joyce Christiansen.
Joyce was recovering from a recent back surgery
and was such a trooper to ride in the car with us.

Hugging Grandma Joyce, with her beautiful flowers in the background.

Hugging Papa Clair.

Hugging Aunt Susan Williams (Doug's sister)
Hugging Mom



So...after all of that hugging, we were ready to hit the road. Ethan was supposed to be at the MTC at a certain time for drop off. But before we could leave, Ethan had one more thing to do...a promise he made to Doug and me...something he would do before going into the MTC. The Power Walk! I'm sure this is only funny to our family, but here's the backstory: When we dropped Ethan off for college the year before, after moving him into his dorm and getting him all settled, it was time for us to leave. We were outside the Wilkinson Center at BYU saying our goodbyes, hugging, and trying not to be too sad and totally lose it, when Ethan did the power walk for us as a way to send us all off laughing. It was hysterical and just the thing we all needed! This silly power walk came from some random commercial (I can't even remember which one), and Ethan would do it around the house sometimes, just messing around, and it always made us laugh! So, in the driveway before getting in the car, Ethan did the power walk. On the video below, you can hear Grandpa Clair joking "This will probably be the hardest thing he does all day." It was pretty funny and got everyone laughing before the 30-minute drive to the MTC.)

video

In the car, can't wait to get to the MTC!

We were assigned stop #12 at the curb. Elder Morgan from
Australia was Ethan's greeter and host for the day.
He met us at the car, helped unload Ethan's luggage,
I got out for one more quick hug, we snapped this photo,
and they were off! It was a very sweet few minutes,
no tears, just enthusiasm and excitement to get started.
Way to go Ethan for setting the tone!

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