The past week has been filled with anticipation! OH MY! We have all been so excited!
We knew that mission calls are issued on Fridays and usually reach the LDS Mailroom on Tuesdays, so most kids in Utah get their mission calls in the mail on Wednesday. On Tuesday, we got the word that Quayd's mission status had been updated to "Assignment Made" on Friday, the eighth! So, we were certain that it would arrive on Wednesday!
I woke up on Wednesday morning at was at the Post Office at 8:30, at the suggestion of our mail carrier, who usually doesn't deliver until 2:30 in the afternoon, so that I could just pick it up. When I arrived at the PO, he had already left and the sorter person said that no mission calls had arrived that day. The clerk told me that North Logan usually gets them on Friday, sometimes on Thursday. We were so sad!!! One more day of waiting!!! Quayd was sooooooo disappointed!
That night, after family prayer, he was still kneeling at the foot of our bed and asked, in a little boy voice, "Mommy, can I sleep with you and Dad tonight?" I said, "WHAT???? Your'e 18 years old! You're not sleeping with Dad and I!" He said, "Remember when I was seven and I had a bad nightmare and you'd let me sleep with you and Dad?" I said, "You were seven, not eighteen!" He continued, "But, Mom! I might have another nightmare that my mission call is not coming tomorrow either! Puleeeeezz?" We laughed so hard! He's a crack-up! And, no! He did not sleep in our room... not even on the floor like he offered. (Truth be told, I felt a little guilty for saying no.)
So, yesterday, I decided that I wasn't even going to bother going the post office. It would come when it comes. Yeh, that lasted about an hour. I arrived at the PO at 8:35 and asked the lady, a different clerk than yesterday's, if our carrier was still there. She asked me what I wanted to pick up and our address and walked back to check. I could hear them talking and heard her give the wrong address.When she said the name, the man said it wasn't his route, it was another and that carrier had left an hour earlier but he did have a mission call with him. He just didn't know the name. She reported back to me and I left, assuming that it would be Quayd's because "how many could there be?"
I ran to Sonic, picked up a couple of Cokes and headed to Carol's for the morning. I knew it would be lonnnnnnnng day! At noon, I felt like I should get home because the carrier should be earlier, since he left early. As I drove home, a sister-in-law called. We chatted all the way home, while I was driving in the pouring rain. As I walked up to the door, our mail was sitting on the chair that sits on our front porch and I could see it!!!! It was here!!!!! Not in the mailbox but on the chair!
AND IT WAS SOAKING WET!!!!
I gasped and my sister-in-law asked, "Are you okay?" I was already bawling and said, "I'm holding Quayd's mission call in my hands!!" We hung up and I just kept looking at it. It was so wet! The envelope edges were literally shredding. I was afraid that the official call would get saturated through the wet envelope, so I lifted the little window and was going to put my keys in it, so that it wouldn't be close to the actual letter or soak through. As I lifted the window, the whole sopping end just tore all the way open except about 2 inches. I thought, "NOOOOOO! No one will ever believe that I didn't open this!"
Just then, Doug called. I said, "Babe! It's here! And it's wet! And it's shredded at the end! One more inch and I could pull it out but I don't want the call to get wet!" Doug, always the calm one, said, "Blow dry it." So, I did exactly that. I sent a picture of it to someone later that day and they asked, "Is that Mom's tearstains on it?" ha! Could have been!
I called Quayd while Doug was on the line too and sent him the picture of his call. He was so excited and could hardly wait to get home!
The next couple of hours were the longest hours ever!! I decided to go to papa murphy's and pick up Quayd's "Mission Opening Dinner" request... that nasty cheeseburger pizza with the pickles that has been advertised so much. NASTY!!!! I ran to the drycleaners. Anything to keep busy!
It had been pouring the snow and rain all day, and by the time the kids got home, we had a couple of inches of snow. I looked out the front window and saw Quayd racing down the street. He cut through the yard with about six feet between each step. The blur below is him racing in the door!
... and running toward his call!
Can you say "EXCITED"?!?!
I thought he was going to open it right then! I said, "WAIT!! NOT YET!!" He said, "Oh yeh. Dad's not here yet. When's he gonna get here?!!?" Look at the snow on his hair!
The girls walked in and were just as excited! Grace started crying!
A few minutes later, Doug was home. Liza had driven to Buddys' office, so that we could all be together on Facetime.
He opened it and read the words, "Dear Elder Corbridge, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the California Redlands Mission...
You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, July 20, 2016...
Our immediate reaction was RedWOODs, not RedLANDS, so we thought he would be serving in the northern California area where his big brother, Dale, lives. Buddy heard it correctly, though, and because he lived an hour from Redlands when he was growing up, he corrected us all. Once that was straight, we pulled out the map that was included in the packet and looked at the area that he will be serving in. He was so excited! We spent the next few minutes googling and looking at all things REDlands on the internet... looking up his mission president (And the new one that will actually be Quayd's in July.), the weather, the LDS Temple that is in Redlands, and a few towns in the surround areas, maps and google maps and more!
Just before opening his mission call, he had washed his contacts with real soap and put them back on. The soap had not rinsed off enough and his eyes were watering and stinging the whole time. Liza texted me privately and asked, "Is he crying or is he sick?" I explained.
He then, continued to read the letter, and go through the packet. We reviewed every page and talked with Liza and Buddy for about half and hour, then said our goodbyes, so that I could take a few pictures and he could begin making the phone calls to those on his "most important people" list! Liza did not want to hang up! These important moments are when it's hardest to be apart!
Hearing and watching Quayd make the calls was exciting! I cried several times, just enjoying his joy! The reactions were the best! Carol's hello was, "I'm dying! I'm dyyyyyying!! Tell me everything!" She cried! More than half the people he told, immediately, reacted with "The RedWOODS are so beautiful!" He had to explain several times, RedLANDS! His favorite Uncle Alan said, "Southern California! That's not a mission! That's a vacation!" His Aunt Aleece was full of questions! He called our old bishop and our new bishop, his YM leaders in Smithfield and Logan. It was sweet to watch him talking with his little half-brother, Jason. Every phone call was just fun and exciting!
My mother's reaction was a story of it's own. Mom has not wanted Quayd to serve a mission anywhere because he "might get killed or hurt." (Remember, my mother lives in fear of being raped, robbed, murdered every day. HER. WHOLE. LIFE! She says no to everything because "what if....?") So, she's been very concerned about Quayd leaving on a mission... especially since the Brussels bombing was the day that Quayd submitted his papers. "He shouldn't go on a mission right now. It's too dangerous!" (A missionary in Taiwan was killed last week when he was hit by a car. Mom called to tell me so. It's just my mom and her fear. We live our lives and figure if something awful happens, it happens, but we're not going to miss out on life because of the what ifs.)
So. We called her and Quayd said, "Nana, I have some exciting news!" She asked "Where are you going!?!?" He said, "Brussels, Belgium!" Instantly, "YOU ARE NOT!!! I'll call your Bishop and tell him you aren't going ANYWHERE!!!" We all laughed and then Quayd told her, "I'm going to Southern California." She said, "Good! I'll let you go there." So, softening the blow first was a good call. She has been very concerned and told me this morning that she is the reason he's going to California. She's been praying non-stop that he doesn't leave the country! She would have done ANYTHING to stop him from going out of the country. I explained that Quayd would have been thrilled and willing to go anywhere in the world! (Truth be told, I was very relieved that he's staying in the states... and one of my biggest reasons is because I'm already planning on care packages!)
Look at that smile!!
Family Prayer was tender and sweet. It was a perfect day. This is really happening!!! Doug and I have waited thirty nine years for this experience. It is every bit as wonderful as we'd imagined! There really are no words for the joy, the excitement we feel for our son as he begins this huge passage into manhood. Opening the call was only the beginning! It's going to be a very fun few months watching him prepare and then... I'll be crying that I miss my boy! BUT, we couldn't be prouder! And He couldn't be happier! Life is good!