Max’s friends started coming home from missions this summer.
Same kids, just refined and wise and even more wonderful.
We got to go to their homecomings (when they spoke in church about their missions), hang with them a little… and hear so many great stories.
Which was pretty awesome…
…except that it made my heart ACHE more than ever for that boy of mine to get on home!
When we were in Utah my friend’s son returned from serving in Max’s mission. (My friend and I were so excited when we found out Max was going to the same place, and she helped me so much in helping Max prepare to leave since she had recently been through that process.) We happened to be in town the day he was going to be reporting in church. I was so giddy in anticipation to hear what he had to say, it’s so weird how that connection just made me so dang happy. He did such a great job and it was so fun to meet him after hearing so much about him in Taiwan (he was Max’s Zone leader for a while and lived in the same house as he did for a little while too).
(Can we just pause for a second to look at Lucy’s face in that picture up there? Ok, thank you, sometimes we just need to pause in life, right? Man I love those girls!)
Not only did we get to meet this great kid and talk to him a little about Max and also talk to his mom, (who I adore and who is on the left below), Max’s new companion’s mom was there too! (on the right below):
How awesome is that??
(Those mom’s boys were companions when they lived in the same house as Max and now he’s companions with one of them…yes it’s a small, small world sometimes.) He loves this new companion as well and had barely been assigned to serve with him so it was quite a wonderful coincidence that his mom happened to be there.
Here are our boys, over in Taiwan:
It was a bright and shiny day but OH, how it made me miss my boy!!
So you can find out mission release dates pretty early and a few months ago we found that there was an option for Max to return right before Christmas or at the end of January with the rest of his group. (He left on January 27th but we were all kind of geared up hoping to get back in time to hit winter semester in school.) He was conflicted! He knew it would be so great for him to get home in time for school, yet he also knew that those last six weeks are probably pretty golden ones. As much as we wanted to get him home, we also knew this had to be his decision, and we never wanted him to look back and feel like he came home early. So we told him we’d fast and pray for him as he made that decision.
It was an interesting Fast Sunday as I prayed my heart out for that boy of mine. Instead of getting an “answer” and any feeling of guidance, my mind was completely blank on the whole matter. I couldn’t feel that one way was more right than the other. And there was something in me that just calmly reminded me this is not my decision. It’s his. (of course, but sometimes I sure want to control things!)
In his letter that week his first words were, “I’ve got to stay!” and it was filled with enthusiasm and so much happiness about staying until the end of January. As sad as it makes me to miss him for even longer, Dave and I knew he was right. As alluring as it would be to have him home for Christmas, six weeks is a long time, time that is tough to give up when you know a language and a culture so well. Time he’ll never get back.
So we’re excited for him. He is hitting such a stride right now and is happier than ever. He is serving as a Zone Leader with an awesome companion and is serving in a big city where he loves the people so much.
And he will be home the end of January.
Yes, he’ll miss winter semester. And that is sad.
But he will get to have a job and earn some money (which he will be very in need of), and will most likely do some online/night classes so it will work out great.
So we’re gearing up…six more months. People say it starts to go fast at this point…we shall see!