This morning we took Elder Braden Blackford to the airport! The whole family got up at 4:00 a.m. and went to see him off. (In the picture above, he said he wanted a picture in his "natural element," and then made this face. Somehow I should have known...) When we got to the airport, we checked in and met a few other missionaries who were also on his flight and heading to the MTC while we were waiting in line to check his bags. It was really cool to see other families and young men preparing for their missions. After checking bags, we walked with Braden over to the security gate, and gave him our last hugs before he left.
He waved to us from the other side of security before he went to his gate. When he arrived in Provo, our family friend Brother Gray (who was also one of his seminary teachers) met him at the airport to take him to lunch and then to the MTC. Braden should hopefully be in Utah for a couple weeks--then his visa should clear and he can head off to the Brazil MTC. We will all miss him very much, but it is hard to be too sad when he is so excited to be out there! He is really ready to be doing the Lord's work. We know Brazil will be lucky to have him, but also that he is going to learn so much from his experiences in Brazil. Goodbye and good luck Elder Blackford!
Now hopefully he will write enough to keep this blog going (which was his idea in the first place), but everyone who receives letters or emails from him should share what they hear from him as well, so feel free to post and comment!