Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On his way to Louisiana...

Elder Soper left the MTC this morning and caught an early flight (6 am) to Louisiana.  He had a bit of an adventure in the day leading up to his departure: He was supposed to leave a day earlier (on the 15th), but they found out that their flight had been canceled when the arrived yesterday morning at the airport.  (This news, after waking up at 2:30 am in the morning and lugging all of his luggage up to Salt Lake, checking it in, and getting set to go.)

Lisa and I knew that he had the chance to call us from the airport for a brief chat before his flight, and so you can imagine how distressed we were when his call didn't come before 6 am.  All kinds of fears and weird scenarios were running through our heads.  He was finally able to call for just a few minutes at 7:30 am to tell us that his flight was canceled and that he'd have to go back to the MTC for an additional day!  Initially he sounded a bit bummed out and worried amidst all of that uncertainty; but later in the day the MTC had the missionaries call home for five minutes to inform families of the new plan.  By then he sounded happy once again and was making the most of his extra day.  (They ended up sitting in on another class and were even allowed to take a long nap; probably a strange thing to experience at the MTC in the middle of the day.)

This morning he got to call us again for that traditional farewell chat, and that was satisfying for us since we've missed him so much this last month.  He reports that he worked really well with his MTC companion (Elder Black); even though they came from radically different backgrounds and worldviews, they bonded over their responsibilities in the MTC and became great friends.  He also made friends with other missionaries going to Montana and connected on a fun level with a couple elders going to his own mission.  He reports that he learned a ton while in the MTC about getting along with people and living the Gospel in a way that is authentic and sincere.

Now that he's finally on his way to Louisiana, he's excited about immersing himself in a new culture and learning quickly to love and serve the people.  His testimony has been strengthened by all the scripture study he's done in the MTC and he's eager now to move beyond classroom experiences and role-playing to the real thing.  He's also excited about the warmer weather he's heading into (temp in the 60s right now down there!).  One fun idea he has is to carry note cards with him throughout his mission to collect fun recipes from members and others that he can learn to cook himself or share when he gets home.  He started cooking quite a bit during his this last year and anticipates that this will be something he enjoys throughout his mission and beyond.

We're so excited for him and can't wait to get his first letter from the mission field.  We'll share it on here when it arrives.

1 comment:

  1. Phew! He's in the air! What an adventure they all had yesterday.
    That's so cool he's going to collect recipes. I did the same thing on my mission. It's amazing how much food and the gospel bring people together. One feeds the body and the other feeds the spirit. Put them both together and it's even better.