so we tried to let him get his wits about him. He wasn’t due until 1:30 so we finally left about noon time and made the trek to Provo.
We have done this twice before and were ready for the drama of the big event…..but we were surprised by the new way they do things. O, we had heard that the family didn’t go in anymore but even that warning wasn’t quite enough prep for what we found.
As we stopped the van, we were met by a nice elder who watched as we unloaded the bags and got Joel squared away.Then the same elder, politely asked if he could help Elder Whitmer with his bags while his mom hugged him one more time.
Continuing to talk to Elder Whitmer, the nice elder began to walk away with his bags and…what choice did a young man have but to follow all his stuff. And with a final wave, Elder Joel A. Whitmer was on his way to becoming a full-time servant of the Lord in the California Ventura Mission.
The whole process took about 5 minutes and we were on our way out of the MTC parking lot. One of the older gents watching the whole thing said “Sort of like taking a band-aid off. The quicker you do it, the less it hurts.” Never truer words were spoken. Mom sniffed a bit and asked to be taken around to the front for a picture
and then it was over. Our last son is on his way and we aren’t in mourning or weeping or anything of the sort. I really believe the Missionary Department was inspired in making this change in the process.
One last thing! Thanks to all those who helped get Joel ready to become Elder Whitmer. It was a long process and we worried about the outcome but in the end things went just as they should. I will try to keep you updated on his progress and experiences for the next two years. Keep him in your prayers and write when you can. His address in the….never mind, by the time you read and respond, he will be in California. Just watch and we will post his address when he gets to the field. Love you all.