Quayd's mission president has sent him a packet with pre-mission instructions. One of the things that he recommended that Quayd do was to go on "splits" with the local full-time missionaries. (This is where he would have an opportunity to spend time teaching with the missionaries.) Quayd has been so involved with school for the past month that we didn't worry about it until graduation. Now, he has time and energy to focus solely on the mission.
Yesterday, I called the missionaries to ask them if/when it would be convenient for Quayd to spend some time with them. The Elders told me, "What would be really nice is if he could do a "mini-mission" before he goes." I asked what that meant and they explained that it would be like a real mission for him, where he spent all of his time with them. In my mind, I'm imagining that he goes with them to teach a few times a week or even in a day or two. They said that they have to get permission to do it, but that it would be a great opportunity if they could.
Later in the evening, the missionaries walked up to our door. They had spoken with their mission president and our stake president and gotten the okay to go for it. I asked, "What do we need to do? When do you want to do this? What exactly does this entail?" Their response was "Tonight." I asked for more details and it was a bit before I realized that they were talking about Quayd moving in with them for the next week, literally, being a full-time missionary. They gave me a short packing list and told me that I could bring him back to their place later in the evening.
Quayd was working, so he had no idea that this was even a possibility, let alone in the works. I picked him up from work and told him what was happening and gave him the option. I said, "IF you want to do this, great. If not, great. It's your decision." He asked when and I said, "Um... tonight?" He said, "Great. What do we need to do?" We stopped at Sonic for a milkshake, then dropped by the missionaries to let Quayd meet them and see if he wanted to really do it. He was ready to go. They handed him a list of what he needed to bring, including food for breakfast and lunches this week.
We came home and discussed it with Doug. The girls were excited for him to get home because they were planning a sleepover on the trampoline for the three of them. Doug recommended that Quayd not disappoint the girls, but that he could prepare in the morning and go. We called the Elders and told them that he would be there by 10:30 this morning. We were up at 6, packing and getting him ready. This was a fast decision followed by some fast action.
We went to the grocery store and bought him some Peanut Butter and Jelly, some cereal, Ramen, tortillas and cheese and a gallon of milk. He was packed for six days, including bedding. After shopping, I dropped him off at their place.
It was funny because he was tired and whiny when he woke up. He'd slept out on the tramp, not inside the tent with the girls (as the protector... they can't sleep outside without Doug or Quayd). So, he was mosquito bitten and tired. He whined about his hair and his shirt and what he didn't want to take and what he did, but was not unbearable. I asked if he was nervous. No. Afraid? No. Excited. Yes. "I'm mostly tired. It was a rough night." Did he really want to do this? YES. He was just tired cranky.
BUT.... the second that the door opened to the missionaries home, he put on his biggest smile, "Heeeeeyyyyyyy!" They asked, "Are you ready to get to work?" "You betcha!" All grins, all energy, all excited! He hauled his stuff inside while I unloaded his food from the car. I stood at the door waiting for him to come back out. He grabbed his stuff, gave me a quick hug...One quick hug and he was gone!
That was seven hours ago and just knowing that he's not coming home tonight, I miss him already. He's only blocks away, but I will not see him unless it's passing him on the street for the next week. We drive past them and even offer them rides often. But, it's soooooooooooo strange! I think that this is ADVANCED mission prep for both Quayd and myself!
I'm blown away that he didn't ask for a week to prepare. He only had three shirts because I'm still buying his clothing. I'll pick up a few more and leave them at his place tomorrow. I can not believe this all happened so quickly, but he was excited and willing and that's all that mattered. I said to Natalie over lunch while we discussed our boys, "I sure hope it's a positive week! That'd be awful to go and hate it, knowing that he has a two year adventure ahead of him!" I'm sure that he'll love it. I am DYING to see him and ask how he's loving it and what he's doing! Patience is not one of my virtues, as we all know. This will be a long week. But, it will be a good beginning to a long two years!
Life is good! AND... this mission thing gets more real every day!