Jeff is at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) where he will spend the next two months learning Spanish and preparing to go to Raleigh! He went in on Wednesday January 20. Today, Saturday, we haven't heard from him yet but expect that we will on his first Preparation Day (P-Day), whichever day of the week that is. His designated time to enter the MTC was 12:45 PM, so we had the morning to get around and ready. He already had things pretty well packed so we spent most of the time playing Uno that morning. At about 10:30 Jeff threw the last things in his bags, zipped up his bags, and disappeared in his room to put on his suit and tie. On the way out the door he gave me his set of keys including the key to his guitar case holding his prized Telecaster.
We left the house about 11:00 and drove to Chili's in Orem for lunch together. Sharee had class that morning and so she met us at the restaurant. There were probably 5 or so other missionaries at Chili's eating their "last" meal with their family before driving over to the MTC to start their missions. Jeff went for the big bacon cheeseburger thing saying he wasn't terribly hungry. Probably a few butterflies, but it still looked like a monstrous hamburger to me.
When we finished we stopped by Sharee's apartment so she could drop off her car and jump into the Suburban with us. We got to the MTC about 5 minutes early and so I parked illegally in the Wymount Terrace parking while everyone else jumped out for pictures by the MTC sign.
Everyone jumped back in and we were off to the drop off. They had previously sent us a parking sticker we were supposed to put in the front window. We pulled in and a missionary taped a pink piece of paper to the windshield and then other missionaries motioned us where we should go until one finally pointed to the curb. We pulled up, unloaded his bags, gave a quick round of hugs, and a yet another missionary asked, "are you ready Elder?" Jeff said that he was and they grabbed his bags and headed up the sidewalk. Quite different from when I went on a mission and we went through a little meeting and stuff first. The whole drop off from pulling into the MTC until we were pulling out lasted about 5 minutes. Pretty quick for a 2 year separation!
We went home and made cookies for him which Tammy sent by UPS the next day. We were all a little subdued and missing him but excited at the same time that he had started his mission and knowing that a mission was what he wanted to be doing and should be doing at this point in his life. Jeff is going to be a great missionary. We are looking forward now to hearing from him.