First full week there. Loving life and learning lots.
WHATS UP!!!!! This week was wild we got some crazy storms lots of snow
and slush. We have found a new name for the MTC it’s the compound. The
compound keeps us to a strict 16 hour study schedule. The compound was
generous this Sunday they let us leave for a walk around the temple
after they starved us tell 5 (fast Sunday) and then feed us more
compound food. The exciting news we found out we will be released from
the compound on January 16th got the flight and everything!!!!!! even
though this place is the compound it is a great we learn a bunch and
have fun I have learned way more in this week and a half then in the
last two year. This has to be amazing I have learned so much but days
are long and you get tired. After a long day in the compound we were
re-choired to go to choir (my comp) so we are singing and mid song I
fell asleep a dropped the lyrics down underneath the bleachers and
woke up to a startling finally of the song. We started this week with
lots of class and starting our TRC’s (investigators) me and my comp
are working well together and love teaching them. We got new district
in our zone it’s good to not be the newbies anymore. Well our day
basically goes study eat teach class eat study class eat teach and
sometime exercise its great. No matter how long tiring and compound
like this is it is amazing because I continue to grow in the gospel.
The spirit is so strong it’s amazing but the foods not.
John 3:16 gods love is real he wants all of us to know him
Stairs everyday his classroom is on the 5th floor.
Loving the snow!
Eben’s friend works at the MTC and was able to find Zane!
December 30th is my birthday and when I got up Zane had emailed. His p-day was on my birthday what a wonderful present. Even though we just dropped him off hearing from him was wonderful.
Zane’s first letter
Hello everyone, well this first few days which feel like a few weeks have been like a whirlwind it has been all over the place and a lot in what seems like not very much time but it is pretty awesome. so the first day we got orientated got our companion (Elder Morrison) and went straight to class and meetings were we meet the rest of our district and our teachers. It was a long day full of getting lost getting screamed at “welcome to the MTC” or just laughing at the oddest not that funny jokes, but most of day was filled with the spirit and with learning. it ended with us meeting our zone leaders who are also our neighbors they are a fun interesting group of guys you can definitely tell just by one elders name Elder Lovelady and his name matches him to a T. oh and the food not so good not that bad either but kinda disappointing but it will do for the three weeks im here. so yesterday was the first full day and it was long but fun we got to practice teaching even though it was just our teacher and really get to know our district which i need to be getting good at now that im the district leader. But most of all this place has put me out of my comfort zone to grow and learn so much. The ability to be here with people with such strong testimonies is amazing i know that is where i need to be. but so far everything has been great we learn and grow we have fun times and serious times but definitely memorable times. i dont got any goofy or funny stories to share just yet but soon enough i will it only been like 2 days.
Monday morning we packed two years worth of stuff into the car and headed to Utah. We have been lucky enough with each of our missionaries to be able to drop them off at the MTC. Zane was no exception. Eben had been down for Christmas and was able to drive back up with us and Jackie had a wedding to attend up there so it worked out perfect. Our last family trip for two years.
Tuesday we spent time in Salt Lake at the temple and viewing the Christmas lights. It was so cold and we were not loving the freezing tundra.
I sure do love this kid and the funny faces he loves to make with me.
Wednesday we had most of the morning because he didn’t have to be at the MTC til 1:15. We went and ate at Carrabas,also a tradition we had started with Eben. Just spending every second we can together. Taking it all in.
So many memories with each child as we prepared them to enter their mission.
We went to the park to take a few pictures. My emotions were alll over the place. As a mom this is exactly what you want your child to be doing but knowing you have to let them go is one of the hardest things to do.
At 1:10 we headed over to drop Zane off. We got this -we were ready no tears. Zane even told me no crying mom.
And just like that he is gone!! Two years is a long time but not really.
Zane went back up to school after Thanksgiving to finish up the semester. While he was there he had to take care of some things on his own such as get shots and finish up other paperwork that needed to be done. It is so gratifying as a parent to see them stretch and do things that they have never done before.
He finished up finals, the week of December 15th, packed all his stuff and headed home with a friend that Thursday. They made it to my dad’s in Concho the first night which is a little further than half way and then drove home Friday morning.
This gave us a little over a week to get him ready for the MTC. He had his farewell talk on the 18th. Thank you again to all the people that came out. One thing I wanted to share was a part of his talk. He had been up at Adam’s State University this semester playing football. We knew there would be trials that he would face and understood that going up there might lead to him not going on a mission but we were hopeful he would stay strong and do what he needed to do. In his talk he shared a moment while he was there that strengthened his testimony. Remember this blog is written by mom so I am writing this hopefully in the way he would want me to.
“When I was up at college I was asked many times to go to parties and I didn’t ever really want to. Finally on Halloween they asked me to go to this party and I said ok. There were so many people packed in this house I just stood at the door. One of the football players asked me if I wanted a drink. I said No but he got everyone chanting my name — Zane, Zane, Zane . I still said No. Then they all started booing me. I stood my ground and said no. As this was happening I could still hear the booing but I could also hear cheering not from them but from the heavens telling me what I was doing was right. That I was making a statement that I was not going to participate in the drinking. That was the strongest I felt the spirit when I was up at college. ”
As a parent you always hope this is what your child will choose and being at college the pressure is real. Zane stood up for what he believed in that day.
The rest of the week was crazy. He got to go thru the temple on Tuesday. Such a sweet experience. The temple brings so many blessings to us and to know that all three of my children have been able to go thru now is such a blessing.
We did a lot of shopping and packing and preparing.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were both spent with family and friends. Because we were driving up to Utah on Monday the 26th, Zane was able to be set apart on Christmas Day, which made Christmas even better. As a missionary is set apart the stake president asks for the parents to say something. A few tears were shed and the reality of him being gone for two years was hitting me. This Christmas day had a lot of sentiment and emotions tied to it. The rest of Christmas day was spent packing and trying to make sense of his room. We got done just in time for a few of his friends to stop by. It was great seeing them and having them in our home. We love these boys and they have been such a great support to Zane. My heart was full from all the blessings we were receiving at this time. So much to be grateful for.
After being up at Adams State University playing football, Zane decided it was time to get his mission papers submitted. So in the middle of October all the paperwork was done and sent to Salt Lake. Now the waiting began. It wasn’t long after that we received that white envelope in the mail. Zane was still up at college and didn’t want to open it til he came home for Thanksgiving. That meant having that envelope staring at us for three weeks. He wasn’t stressed about it because he didn’t have to see it everyday. The plan was to open it Wednesday the 23rd. The Monday before Thanksgiving I went to go get the mail and sure enough in the mail was an envelope from his mission. I immediately saw the return address and knew where he was going. I was so upset and started crying. Jeff laughed and said it wasn’t my fault but I had waited so long and didn’t want to know. I didn’t tell anyone where he was going. I hid the envelope so no one would know. Zane got home Tuesday evening and didn’t even care about opening his call. He was waiting til Eben flew in. Wednesday night we all met at 7 pm and Zane opened his call. There is the video of it on my facebook if you want to check it out.
Thank you to all the people that came out and supported him that day. The house was full and everyone was excited to see where he was going. There was a little delay he was taking his time to open the envelope. He soon read Elder Whiting you are called to serve in the Michigan Detroit Mission and will report on December 28th. His prayers had been answered. He did not want to go foreign. He was excited and didn’t seem at all nervous.
This meant another rivalry in our family would begin. Eben went to Ohio ( The Ohio State). Zane was going to Michigan (The University of Michigan). The two colleges that are rivals now had our sons cheering them on against each other.
The mission shopping was about to start, we didn’t have much time. Zane headed back to college Sunday the 27th and wouldn’t be back home til the 16th of December.