Andy's Mission Scripture

Andy's Mission Scripture:

"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."

~Alma 29:9

Saturday, January 29, 2011

First Email From Andy - Jan 29, 2011

Hello Everyone!
My gosh! Holy crap! or Santo Crappo! right now as I'm sitting in the laundry room in the MTC I feel like my heart and head is going to explode! I have so many thoughts going through my head and my heart is filled with so much excitement and anxiety that I don't know where to begin! Well let me start off by saying I've recieved my first MTC letter and I'm so thankful for the shoehorn! My roomies are jealous, thanks again. Next I would like to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support. On the car ride to the MTC Dana you might recall me saying that I feel a lot of pressure to be going out on a mission, I think you misunderstood me and I should of explained myself further becuase you guys got the impression that the pressure is from you guys which is only partly true...haha but the true pressure that I feel is that I will be able to surmise enough courage and love and knowledge to be able to truly call myself and represent to the best of my ability a Missionary for our Savior Jesus Christ and to be able to spread my testimony to as many people possible in Portuguese. Im getting a some wierd looks right now haha as a write this from some guys becuase Im tearing up with the honor to be able to call myself an Elder. I know that Im in the right place at this time in my life and cant express to you how excited I am to serve! The MTC is truly an amazing place! I've never seen so many guys in suits. haha. When I arrived I felt so welcome by all the smiles and handshakes and greetings and throughout my stay so far I have felt the kindness and promptings of the spirit. I only have five min. left Im so sorry but I have to wrap this up already. I will definialty tell you more stories and more about my experiece soon. I love you all so much and I testify to you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses lives like you cant imagine. the testimonies that I have heard here...OMG Anyways I wish you all well and I miss you. Til next time. God Bless.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Set Apart and Off He Goes!

Well, it's now Wednesday evening and Andy has officially spent about 7 hours in the Provo MTC at this point!   Some notes from Dana about the last couple days...

Tuesday evening, President Tanner and Bishop Johns came to our house to set Andy apart.  It was a very special experience for everyone, but Andy was especially touched...he said on Wednesday that it was the most amazing experience of his life. 

President Tanner said a few words, had the rest of us say a few words and by the the time everyone had said what they wanted, Andy was just totally overwhelmed and asked if we could pause in the proceedings for a minute to have a group hug.  It was definitely one of the most significant events we've ever experienced as a family.  After the group hug and a couple more words of counsel from President Tanner, Andy was set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (this point was emphasized to him...he's representing the Church...not just serving in our ward, our stake, etc.)

It was really just an amazing night...

On Wednesday, we were all up at 4 to head to the airport...after a last minute change of plans due to some unrelated events, I ended up travelling with Andy to at about 5:30 in the morning, Mark and  Andy shared their last love, hugs and kisses, Andy gave Madison a hug and a note to read later on, and Andy and I headed to the gate.  As we went through security, one of the security officers complimented Andy on how sharp and clean cut he looked...we explained to him what Andy was about to go do and the man was so nice and said the world needs more people like Andy!

At the gate, Andy found 3 more missionaries - all of whom were called to Joao Pessoa too!  They also had not received their visas and were travelling to Provo.  Andy got to sit by one of Elder Hutchinson.  It was good to see more young men going on this big adventure!  The guys weren't wearing their missionary badges yet since they would get them at the MTC, but the man who took our boarding passes recognized them as missionaries anyway and asked the four guys where their badges were!

In SLC, Grandpa and Grandma Howell met us at the airport and drove us to Provo where we picked up Marcus and went to Red Robin for lunch...Andy and I shared a bunch of the experiences from the past few days with everyone while we ate.  Andy was just so happy and was pretty much glowing.

After lunch we went to the Provo temple for just a quick sec of photos and hugs and last words...then we pulled into the MTC where they literally direct you to a spot on the each spot, there were two "HOST" missionaries waiting for new arrivals.  We pulled up, Andy's two hosts came over, one grabbed his bags from the car and the other spoke with Andy and Grandma and everyone...then after one or two more hugs and a quick pic, one of the hosts turned with Andy and headed was like summer camp...everyone was happy and smiling...very welcoming...very friendly and Andy immediately had arms wrapped around him welcoming him in...for those of us that were tense and dreading the big good-bye, this was a peaceful, happy, joyful experience and we left Andy in great spirits! 

Can't wait to hear from him for the first time!

Andy and new pal Elder Hutchinson