Oh my goodness. TODAY Claire starts the “home MTC.” And I have a million and one things to say about that. We have had a couple weeks to get her ready to go following our special pre-mission trip. In some ways it has felt like a whirlwind. And in other ways it’s felt like velvety-gold sacredness. There is something pretty precious about having an adult child home, preparing to head out and serve as a missionary. Today let’s talk about two big steps in mission preparation: temple and farewell for Claire.

The family minus Elle and Carson at the temple with Claire.

The lead-up to the big missionary weekend

First of all, re-entry after a trip isn’t for the weak of heart! The days following our return from our MFMP trip (still more to come on that!) were swirling around with jet-lag, a giant cold sore (and all the body aches that come with it for me). We were all trying to find some semblance of order back at home as we helped Claire with her final preparations for entering the temple and giving a farewell talk at church.

In hindsight, that was kind of crazy timing. There were several reasons Claire wanted to do her farewell and go through the temple early, but it meant combining with two other farewells (yes, three missionary farewell talks in the very same meeting), lots of crowds, all of us a little foggy.

We missed Elle and Carson 🙁

And one of the biggest reasons we did it early: to catch Elle and Carson before they left for their NYC externship, didn’t work out anyway. Elle had a work conference she couldn’t miss that weekend, fit in specifically for her before she moved from CA to NYC. And Carson was in the middle of his busiest externship yet.

Oh how we would have loved being all together one last time before Claire leaves, but as one of my kid’s preschool teachers taught, “you get what you get and don’t throw a fit.” And Elle and Carson were such great supporters from afar. Love you guys!!

We loved having Abby and Murphy here early

BUT the great part of having that farewell early? Abby and Murphy came to join us the day after we got home, and we had missed them!

Yep, they braved it in the middle of all the hoopla and we had some pretty special days together, all of us girls working to get Claire semi-situated. Elle had to leave the day after we got home, but Grace stuck around for the weekend and I loved being with those three women (Claire, Grace and Abby) plus Murphy to do so much mission/temple prep together. More on that in another post soon.

For now let’s skip to the temple part.

Claire’s first time at the temple

There is always a lot of emotion for me to figure out how to best support kids getting ready for the temple. Oh, they have been preparing for years by the time they receive their own endowments. By that time, they have been going to the temple with friends or church groups to do “baptisms for the dead” since they were turning twelve. They have had lessons about the temple at church all their lives.

But as parents we want so much for these kids to feel really prepared when they go for their endowments. Claire has had so much preparation through friends and study as well as talks in our family. I love that we had some special time to talk about the temple on our trip with Elle and Grace giving some beautiful advice while we were gone. By the time we reached that Saturday, Claire felt so calm and peaceful about it all. And my mama heart was ready too.

It was a beautiful day. Max’s flight got in in time, and there is something so beautiful about feeling surrounded by so much support and love. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for all these people who came to join in this big step for Claire:

Since my family couldn’t make it, they had their own special temple time with claire the week after…more on that soon as well. Love these Pothiers!

Shawni and David with Claire at the temple

Claire’s Farewell at church

The next day was Claire’s farewell talk at church. Loved sitting on all those rows with extended family in that jam-packed chapel listening to that girl of mine spill her heart out, all about how she decided to serve, the concept of “desire” and how God will help us with our biggest desires when we earnestly give our hearts to Him.

Maybe she will let me do a post with her talk on this blog, because I loved it so much.

The support crew:

More support crew:

Love those three peeking through in the back there, next time we’re putting you in the front!!

The family minus Elle and Carson at Claire's mission farewell

We had a little open house that night, that I’ll talk about another time. And so much more about what we did with those other big kids while they were home.

But for now, just a beautiful sunset setting on that farewell day. These three sisters holding each other close while they can.

Claire, Grace and Lucy under the sunset

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  1. An out-of-curiousity question: I know that the Home MTC was a covid adaption – has it stuck for all missionaries now? Or is it only for certain missions, and if so, how do they choose who does the MTC at home rather than at a training center?
    Thank you so much for always being willing to share and teach; I’ve learned lots from your blog and commentariat 🙂

    1. Hi Selkie! Yes, the Home MTC started with covid, but I think they realized that having a little time at home was a perfect step into mission life. Among other things, it got the family involved, it made transition to the actual MTC much more smooth for the parents and the missionary, and I think they just felt that overall this was a pretty great serendipity thing. Almost every missionary I know now does one week of “Home MTC” before heading to whatever MTC they are assigned (there are Missionary Training Centers all over the world, but the majority of missionaries head to the one in Provo).

      Claire started the home MTC on Monday and will head to the Provo MTC early next week. So far, in my opinion, it is such a cool experience. Claire is getting to know her companions and district and teachers online and she’s excited to meet them in person next week!

      I’ll be posting more about this soon.

    1. Oh I have so much to say about how it works, and I will do a whole post on it soon. But for now, it’s just a bunch of classes, language study and gospel study that kids do online. There is a whole daily schedule complete with companionship study, personal study and even devotionals. It is a pretty beautiful program I have to say.

      It’s a lot of work for Claire, and there is so much to learn, but she’s loving it and feeling like it’s really helping her feel more ready to go.

  2. Clair will only be at home MTC for about 10 days and then she will go to the “Big MTC” in Provo for more training, specifically language training in Mandarin. I’m sure more details. will be coming. Thanks for asking!

  3. There’s a couple of pictures of Lucy where she looks a little wistful about Claire’s leaving – one next to Max, and the last picture. She certainly is resilient with all the changes!

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