Elder Mecham is on his way to England. This morning we arrived at the ticketing kiosk for Delta at terminal one. We saw so many elders who were leaving Las Vegas headed back for their homes where mothers I am sure are anxiously and excitedly awaiting their arrivals. For us it was bittersweet today. Or should I say BITTERsweet. (can I just say two years is a long time and I am going to miss my boy!) At the kiosk we had the first of many tender mercies of the Lord poured out on us. First, as Elder Mecham started to enter his information into the kiosk we were approached by a Delta rep. She pleasantly grinned at me, but the minute Joey turned around and she saw his tag she broke into a huge smile and said, "Welcome Elder!" She quickly entered his passport information and inquired as to why he had two bags instead of one. She said that international flights only allowed for one and that his second bag would have a $100.00 charge. The paperwork we received said two bags and a carry-on so we let her know. She said let me see what I can do. Two minutes later she was back and his second bag was checked through to Manchester at no additional charge. Then she said, "Do you want a gate pass for one of you?" Well, I had left my purse at home so it had to be Doug. At first my heart ached a bit, but then I realized that it was just perfect for them. Father and son would have these precious final minutes together to discuss important things.
Can't you just see these two at your door?
As we got ready to move from the kiosk and baggage drop we saw another young man with his family and just knew he was an elder. We approached him and met Elder Blumenthal and his family. He too is going to the England London South Mission. His visa has yet to arrive so today he is flying to Provo while the paperwork catches up with him, but he will be there and perhaps he and Joey will be companions! It was heartwarming to see the two light up when they met. Arms slung over each other's shoulders we took their photo:
Here he is just minutes before boarding.
The final goodbye.
So, now we wait. I will post his letters here as they arrive. I am happy, sad, excited and overwhelmed all at once. Most of all I am grateful for this young man as he sets out to preach the Gospel.