Wednesday, September 11th was a much anticipated day for our family. It was the day Amber entered the Missionary Training Center. The final week had been quite busy as we finished up last minute things and helped Amber get her suitcases packed. Two suitcases and one carry on was the limit....and we packed those bags almost to their size limit and weight limit. Everything Amber would use for the next 18 months was packed into those bags.
Here's Amber, in front of our house, just before her bags were packed into the car. The day started out with light sprinkles and we hoped and prayed that we wouldn't have a rainy MTC day.
Amber made one stop before getting into the car and that was a stop at her own car. A good-bye hug to her sweet little orange Mazda. Don't worry Amber, we'll take good care of your car.
The first item on the agenda was lunch at Brick Oven. Our long time friend, Andy, had a son of his own going into the MTC that day. They flew in all the way from Georgia so we all planned a lunch together before Amber and Michael went into the MTC. Michael is headed to Nevada on his mission.
After lunch, the famous missionary pictures in front of the temple were next up. This is a favorite picture that we took of Amber before she went into the MTC. Hurray for the Tennessee Nashville mission.
We brought Amber's friend, Lindsie, along with us. Our purpose was for Lindsie to help with photography but I think the best thing Lindsie did was help to bring happiness and humor to calm Amber's nerves. Lindsie will have her MTC day in 4 weeks - going to Portland, Oregon.
One last family picture - missing big brother, Chad, of course. Families were all over the place taking pictures with their missionaries. Amber was amazed at how many missionaries were going in the same day as she was. The day cleared up into a beautiful, sunny, warm day. We're so glad it didn't rain. We never would have gotten all of these pictures.
Kisses from Mom and Dad. We're going to miss those soft cheeks.
Practicing giving the young men handshakes.....
.......Just kidding - brothers get good-bye hugs too.
Mommy hugs! I'm going to miss giving them and Amber will miss getting them.
These two best friends are going to sure miss each other but they will have so much fun writing each other and Amber has promised to be at the airport when Lindsie comes home from her mission.
They are not liking this good-bye stuff.
Pretty soon, it was time for Amber to enter the MTC. We drove across the street, entered the drop off area, and pulled up the curb where Amber met her host sister missionary and got her luggage ready to go. There were so many new missionaries.
Those suitcases were heavy and that sweet little sister missionary just hauled them off like there was nothing to it. Amber followed behind like a little puppy.
Good-bye family. I'll see you in 18 months.
We are going to miss Amber tremendously, but we know of no better place for her to be right now. We are so pleased with her decision to serve a mission to the wonderful people of Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois. She is going to grow so much in this experience and we are so excited to read her letters and see the difference this life changing experience will make for her. We love you Amber!!!