See Ya in Two Years 'Lil Bro

Mason has been in the Missionary Training Center for over twenty-four hours now, with no contact with the outside world.
Dun dun duuuun.
Yesterday at noon Roy and I met up with Mason and my parents at the Provo, Utah temple, which was right across the street from the MTC.  Roy had snuck away from the accounting firm for an extra long lunch break. I wish that Zac and Alexa could have snuck away from school, but they had to stay down in Tucson.
Lots of other Tucsonans showed up, though, as well as some of my dad’s family in Utah.They came to see him off, to give him encouragement and support, and maybe to capture a clear memory his face so that they’ll recognize the missionary that walks off the plane two years from now.
Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been something Mason has wanted to do for as long as I can remember. It always seemed so far away, so it’s insane that the time has finally come. In California he will be sharing the Gospel and helping bring people to Christ. It’s one of the biggest sacrifices a basketball playing, videogaming, 19-year-old can make; he’s dedicating some of his best years to the Lord. This is a big deal.
After getting their fill of pictures with Mason in his suit and tie, everyone said their goodbyes. Roy left, the family left, everyone left until it was just the four of us in the little Cadillac my parents rented.
Squished between Mason and his huge suitcases, I watched as we pulled into the MTC parking lot and passed suit after suit. Everyone gets dropped off on Wednesdays. I remembered how old I used to think missionaries were- and how much I looked up to them.  We were directed around the side where numbers marked car slots against the curb. We pulled into number 22 where a short, dark haired guy with a black plastic nametag waved to us. Mason’s welcoming comitte to this new way of life.
“Mason, you’re going to have one of these,” I said, pointing at the guy’s nametag when we crawled out of the car. “Elder Collett.” The short guy told us he was getting ready to leave for Chile. Cool! I wonder whose welcoming committee Mason will serve as.
Elder “Chile” took two of Mason’s bags and was ready to take him away from us, but Mom and I had to get in three hugs each. Don’t worry Dad gave him one too. In a very Dad way.
I took pictures of Mason getting his coat on, posing with Mom, and even called to him when he was walking away to get one last shot. It was well documented. And yet it was such a quick event. I don’t know what I expected… but somehow something more grand or epic… like bells ringing, angels singing, or at least for Mom to start crying.
But it was just like saying goodbye to him when I leave home. Everyone happy and smiling and excited for him…
All there was to say was, “Welp... see ya in two years, lil’ bro!”

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