I felt a true feeling of peace. Brazil seemed like a perfect place for Ben. Or maybe, it was just that the Lord had called him there, so it was perfect.
Going through the visa process was not for the faint of heart! Luckily we already had a passport for him from when we went on vacation over spring break. That made it easier. Somehow we got all items he needed signed and sealed. The church travel office was great and he got his visa two weeks before his mission.
We sent him off yesterday. We all did well at the airport. We watched as he went through security and he stopped and gave us the most awesome "Captain America" style salute and smile. Jacob caught him right before he did it. Great pic!
I didn't realize how tough it was going to be when I got home. There are reminders of Ben everywhere! No one could bear to go in the basement that first night (Ben's domain, lol). Every time I went in his room, I started crying. Man, we love this kid!
Today we received our first email. He arrived safely! I was so glad to hear from him! Here's an except:
"I nearly missed my second plane because the first one ended up being delayed by so much, but I managed to get on it just in time. I ended up coming with a pretty large group of elders and sisters, who were all on the same flight as me. Some of them have already spent 2 weeks in the Provo MTC before their visa arrived, but most of them are completely new like me. I`m looking forward to getting to know them, as it seems like we have a pretty cool group of guys. I haven`t taken many pictures, but I´m not even sure that these strange computers we are on have an SD card reader, so I can`t really send you any anyways. They call Sao Paulo the endless city, because it just keeps going and going, with tons and tons of apartment buildings. It`s like a concrete forest. Apparently this is the third most populous city in the world, at 17 million people, just below New York City and Tokyo. It`s going to be awesome! I love you guys, and I hope you are all safe and well at home."
Hooray for email! Later today we got more excitement, an email from the mission president from the Brazil MTC, that they send out for the parents of the new groups that come in. What a great idea!
It's really tough to think about two whole years and how much we will miss him! But we know he is doing a wonderful thing, for himself, and for all those he teaches. He has a powerful testimony, and I think he will be a fine tool in the hands of the Lord. I like to remember the scripture "I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me." We will both need it!