Well, today a photo was sent out by Elder Neeley's Uncle that made not one, but TWO moms cry.
Here you go- brace yourself.
|Cooper and Jake Summer 2005|
(They clean up rather nicely don't you think?)
I was truly moved to see them back together.
And then I noticed the open car door in the background and I started figuring something out (which was later confirmed by Jake's uncle). Elder Siebers was actually able to serve as Elder Neeley's Host. The Host is the more "experienced" missionary who meets you at your car door at drop off. They offer a friendly face and handshake and then help you with your bags to your room. They offer a quick tour of the MTC and then escort you to your first class/orientation.
As Jake's mom said to me today, Cooper being Jake's Host was "no coincidence". I believe it is only District Leaders that are allowed to Host. Cooper was called as a DL just last week. And, it's only DLs in their FINAL week at the MTC that Host. There were over 700 missionaries arriving today- how on earth did they make this work? Tender Mercy I tell you.
An hour later I received this photo. It made me (and Jake's mom) cry all over again.
There they both go.... separated by just five weeks in the MTC... one on his way out... one on his way in.... both there as part of a long journey that started when they were just little boys.
Go Forth and Serve Elders.
Edit: I asked Elder Siebers about this Host experience. This is his response:
Our district signed up to host new missionaries. I waited for 2 hours for Jake and it was worth it. I got him all settled in, gave him a nice tour, gave him tips. Then I dropped him off in his class. He is is the same district as Sister F and Elder D . I told him to stay close to him. They are tight already. We have the same schedule which will be nice for a few more days.