Well she did it, Emily is in Texas! I had a good cry this morning after I hung up the phone but I am good now. It was the same kind of cry after dropping her off at the MTC. It really wasn't about how much I am going to miss her but rather all about how proud I am of her and how grateful I am to be a part of this miracle in her life.
We actually talked for a little over an hour. She called me from the Salt Lake Airport from a pay phone and I called her back on my cell and it was about 7:05 a.m. She said she was all checked in and they were near the gate where they had to board and all the missionaries were told they could talk until 8:15 a.m. She said the missionaries were all lined up on the payphones talking to their families. It was a really good talk. It got emotional at times but I tried really hard to keep it up beat and asked her lots of questions about the MTC and about all the letters and packages she had received. She is so grateful for all the letters and I can't stress enough how much they mean to her and how they have been keeping her going. She mentioned more then once how she would get a certain letter on a really hard day and it would say just what she needed to hear and it would help her push on.
She talked to her dad for about five minutes. When I handed him the phone, I told him to keep it up beat ... well, as soon as he got on the phone he started to cry so they were both crying. He loves his daughter and is so proud of her and it is really hard not to get emotional when you know just how hard this is for her. But it was okay, he pulled himself together and told her she would be fine and told her to stay close to her Mission President and his wife and that they would be her parents while she was away from home.
I won't lie to you, Emily is scared to death and still doubting if she can do this but I was able to explain to her that she is having the same doubts and feelings that so many of the other new missionaries are having. I think she was pretty good by the time we had to say goodbye. Of course saying goodbye was really hard for her. I held it together and told her how proud I was of her, how much I loved her and how excited I was for her. Then after I hung up the phone I went in my room and knelt down by my bed and thanked my Father in Heaven for answering all our prayers and then I had a really good cry.
It was probably a good thing that we talked as long as we did just because by the time we were done, it was time for Emily to start boarding the plane and so it had kept her busy. She did end up flying with one other Sister Missionary who will be speaking Spanish in the Houston East Mission. I think Emily was relieved to have another Sister to fly with along with the eight Elders.
She had a direct flight and landed in Houston just before 1:00 p.m. her time which is noon our time. I am not sure if I will get any more calls from her or the mission home today. I know when Wade went, his Mission President called us that night. I will post something if I hear anymore.
Emily said she would email me or send me her new address as soon as possible and I am sure she will as she loves getting mail.
Thank you again for all your love and support and especially for your prayers. She feels your love and receives such strength from knowing how much support she has back home. Love you all,
Julie (Sister Hawkins Mom)