One last hug or two as he is standing in line.
He's really leaving!
By for two!
His last day of work was last Thursday. He had a great job at the Paramount theater. That job has been a huge blessing in his life. The owners are great examples and the atmosphere was just right. He was able to save a lot of money for his mission because of his job. The owners were also really good to him.
So Friday morning we got up early and drove to Provo, where we picked up Kate and visited my parents in a Richfield. It was great to see my dad sitting up and we really laughed a lot. Megan my sister from Washington was also there and planned to come to Kyle's farewell talk. Kate, Kyle and I then drove to Manti, where we went to the Manti Temple. It is such a beautiful temple. Then we went to my neice Amy's where they had a Johnson gathering and we saw, Amanda and Ben who are expecting a baby boy in January, Trevor, Jack, Gwendolyn, and Polly. Laurie and Rebecca came too and Mitchell.
We all went to the church and waited for Kyle to give his talk. When he was first assigned Kyle asked me how long it had to be. I only remember him giving two talks as a teenager. I'm sure there were more, but jumping from 2-3 minutes to an adult talk is a little daunting. I said 20 and he groaned a little. He was hoping for 5. I said 15 at the least. I think it may have been around 13. Anyway he did a great job. He did prepare, but the best part was his testimony at the end. He actually got emotional. You had to be there. Part of it was his testimony and part of it of the love he felt for all the family and friends who have helped him over the years. Of course we all became emotional as well. That has never happened to him before. He didn't quite know what to do about it. The talk was the most stressful part and then he could relax, even more than the mission.
We then gathered at our house for a family dinner. It was so fun for everyone to be with Kyle on his second to last night. Our neighbor Colleen made it special by preparing a feast of pulled pork. All the Jones in Idaho and dear friends really helped too. It was really lovely surrounded by family.
This next part is from Laurie's blog:
There were a lot of highlights that day, but my favorite moment was when we were driving away with Kyle's sister Katelyn. Traditionally the siblings run to the corner waving to the departing family member. This day was no exception. It was so darling to see the little sisters, but then when Kyle, the missionary, came running up the sidewalk in his shirt and tie waving for the last time for 2 years I was overcome with emotion and gratitude for the love in this good family.
The next night, Kyle, our family, Rigby Jones and Mom went to have Kyle be set apart as a missionary. It was another tender moment. Kristen was at volleyball practice, so she snuck in for the actual setting apart. Most of us gave Kyle advice, the most memorable was Regan, "Don't eat gross food." President Stevens, Bishop Kunz, Jeff and Michael set him apart and it was amazing. The most important words that I wanted to hear I heard, which were health and safety. Stephanie and Michael gave Kyle a candy bar lei.
Then we were serenaded by the Oklahoma Jones. They sang "Feliz Navidad. We Want to wish you a Happy Mission." They were in costume and everything. That last night we just sat around and talked. It was so nice to have this missionary in our midst.
That morning we all woke up early, and drove to the local airport. It was so exciting and tender to have him already be a missionary finally going to serve the Lord. I was expecting a cloud over my head that day, but had just the opposite. I felt a love and excitement for him.
I was hoping some person would take a picture on his journey and it did happen. He sat by someone who sent a picture and then after Kyle made it to Mexico that person told me that he landed and will be a great missionary. It was a sweet blessing.
That night we got a very brief message that he is alive and the flight went smooth. Also that he wouldn't be writing for 1 1/2 weeks. It is better than nothing. I guess there is not much to say that first night.
Now that he has been gone a few weeks, we have grown a little more used to him being gone. Even in church I save a seat for him, because he usually prepares and or blesses the sacrament. There has been a lot more singing and dance parties, less trips to the store for milk and food lasts a lot longer. I miss his cute sense of humor and presence, but he is doing bigger and better things and I couldn't be happier for him. Here is his first letter. I think he is going to be OK. I hope he can live without milk.
The mission has been going great. The first couple days were a little crazy but I think I'm used to it now. My companion's name is Elder Hansen and he's pretty good. One kind of funny thing that happened this week was with "our investigator." We've had an investigator who we had to teach since the second day IN SPANISH. It was a little stressful but me and Elder Hansen have been doing pretty good. The funny thing is that while we were teaching her I noticed there was a gigantic moth next to her leg on the chair she was sitting on. It was like the biggest bug I've ever seen and I didn't want to interrupt the lesson so I waited until after we had finished. When the lesson with Nayelli was over I pointed to the side of the chair and Nayelli ran out of the room and hid behind the door. Then I put it on my notebook, held it out the window and it flew away. Nayelli was kind of mad at me for not telling her right off but she was happy it was gone. When we played get to know you games at the beginning I never had a "most embarrassing story," so I think karma wanted to help me with that. We were eating breakfast at comedor and I got this yogurt drink thing. Our district was eating together and we were just talking when I decided to shake my yogurt drink. All the sudden I was covered in orange goop. Apparently I didn't tighten the cap of my drink so well, so when I shook it the cap fell off and yogurt got all over me. So I guess that's my embarrassing story now (even though it wasn't that embarrassing). We got to go to the Mexico City temple today which was pretty awesome. I loved it a lot. Driving through Mexico City is crazy though. This city is soooo big I can't believe it. The Spirit is everywhere in the CCM and I don't think I have ever prayed more in my life, but it's awesome. No one in my district wants to do cross fit so that's kind of lame but we have played a lot of ultimate, which is awesome. We live in these house things that are kind of cool but I've seriously only been in the kitchen and the living room like twice and once was to take one of these pictures. It rains like every day here which is sometimes annoying. I ran into Elder Taylor a couple days ago and he seems to be doing well so far on his first week.I can't get mail on any day except P-day unless you send letters through a website called dear elder or lds package something then they print the letter for you here at the CCM and put them in your district mailbox. You don't have to send me any, but if you want to that would be cool. Even though the CCM is basically like school I actually love, love it. I love learning the language and learning about the gospel. The gift of tongues is definitely real and the Spirit is so strong here. Even though my Spanish is still not great, it's getting better every day. I cant wait to actually get out there. I love you all, the church is true and never forget it. Also have a great conference. I know I will (even though I don't get treats for answering questions right).
Love Elder Jones