Good morning to all. This is Elder Malolo's mom, Lauri. I will be managing Elder Malolo's blog while he is away serving his 2 year LDS mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I will tell you that the day after is, well the day after! Weird, quiet, real and of course filled with mixed emotions.
Sama and I had the pleasure of taking Taylor to the MTC in Provo. The day that I picked up all of his things from Pomeroys Missionary store was my reality! It was a gloomy rainy day which doesn't happen often in sunny Arizona. Taylor's girlfriend has been very supportive as always. We love her dearly. She was helping us right up til the last minute. Packing and keeping everyone on task! We had family pictures 2 hours before we had to leave for the airport. I will say that we have had some really amazing moments along this journey to his departure. One of the best would be the emotional and incredibly heartfelt send off given by Taylor's friends and family. I will post the video to share the experience.
As we walked away from everyone Taylor looked at me and said "never turn around". We have agreed that when you turn around it is the hardest moment of the goodbye. I looked at him and said "turn around, just do it" and he did as he waved his last goodbye to everyone. He was pretty quiet from that moment on. I wondered what he was thinking. What were his thoughts at that moment and how was he truly feeling? We landed in Utah around midnight. We had our prayer and headed to bed. The next morning came quickly. My heart was racing and my emotions were running high. I knew I needed to keep the energy up although I was already wiping tears from my eyes! It took me about 10 tries to get my contacts in my eyes!
We headed over to the Provo Temple after we had breakfast to take some pictures before we took Taylor to the MTC. As we were driving Taylor asked me how many minutes until we arrive at the MTC? I looked at my GPS and said "9 minutes". Shortly after I felt Taylor's hand rest on my right shoulder as I heard him quietly begin to cry. At that moment it became so real, so real that he was really going away for 2 years to serve the Lord. We stopped at a red light. I got out of the car and sat in the back seat with Taylor. I held his hand and reassured him that everything will be ok. We pulled up to the MTC and we were greeted by a gentleman who was so cheerful and welcoming. He directed us where to go. When we reached our final drop off point Taylor was assigned a Host Elder who accompanied him to his new home for the next 6 weeks. We shared a few photos together and gave Taylor our last goodbyes for 2 years as he serves the Lord diligently. Taylor had his luggage and walked away with all of the loving support from the current missionaries. Taylor didn't look back this time :'). As he walked away out of our distance we quietly got in the car and pulled away. Such mixed emotions were going through my mind. Needless to say we sent a care package that same day. I forgot to give him his case for his eyeglasses. I added some treats and candies! We received his letter on Saturday. xoxo