Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sister Galli goes to Washington!

Riding Frontrunner to the airport
Today was the day for Sister Galli to finally leave the MTC and travel to Washington DC. She had to report to the travel office at 5:00am. They put her and her two companions on Frontrunner and sent them to the airport.  It made me chuckle when my mom asked me if they would have an adult with them, and even though I knew what she meant, I had to remind her that they are adults. I'm sure you always see your children and grandchildren as 'kids'. Anyway, we knew we would be able to talk to her once she got to the airport, so that was fun to look forward to.  Her friend Tanner had decided to send her a cheap Walmart phone so she could have as much time to talk as possible.  We weren't sure what time she would call so he came over at 6:30am (with Einsteins Bagels) and we waited until 8:00am for her call. I need to back up though. I actually woke up at 6:00 am to the sound of a text. A nice lady on the train had taken a picture of her and sent it to me. After we got off the phone with Hannah, I sent the lady and text and thanked her for the picture. I told her I am going to try to do this more often as I see missionaries, because as a mom it is such a treat. Here's what she said back to me:

"I would have loved it when my son left on his mission.  I ride the train every morning to work.  I get the pleasure of seeing so many of these amazing missionaries leaving to go serve the Lord.  I get an hour and a half of time with them.  I play a fun game with them and send photos home to their families.  Sometimes I bring snacks.  I enjoy these special times with these wonderful spiritual giants. I receive so many blessings from being with them.  Thank you for sharing your daughter with me today!!!" 

It's strange because I made it through the entire phone call without crying, but hearing from this lady afterward and seeing my daughter through a stranger's eyes like that makes me teary every time I read it. I thanked her again for this simple gift and told her how much it meant to me. I told her about my tender mercy journal that I'm keeping and that this would be my next entry. She told me that Hannah reminded her so much of her niece who is serving in Detroit Michigan, and that it was a sweet tender mercy for her to be able to be there this morning to listen and to observe and visit with her.

Anyway, Sister Galli called us at 8:00am. She sounded so happy and so grown up! It's weird how much a few weeks can change a person. Luckily, these are all good changes. She was an amazing person before, but everyone has room to improve in different areas. We passed the phone around to everyone a couple of times for about an hour, and then it was time for her to get on her plane. In the shuffle of saying goodbye to everyone, I didn't really get a chance to because I wanted to be last and she ended up needing to go quickly. I felt kind of bad, but knew that I would be able to hear from her soon on her p-day. Well, she ended up having a few minutes while she sat on the plane so she sent me a quick text. It was nice for me to be able to wrap things up with her like that. I guess it was a flip phone and she had to text the 'old-fashioned' way.  She said using a brick to text was a pain. That right there is a first world problem. 

Her flight left at 9:40am, and it was a direct flight to Washington DC. They landed there around 3:50pm (Eastern time), and I assume was picked up by the mission president and his wife. I'm pretty sure they were going to take the metro home, so I would think someone familiar with it would help them the first time. I may or may not ever get the details, and I guess it doesn't really matter. Hannah just doesn't find stuff like that to be very interesting, so she doesn't understand why we would and tends to leave them out.

I waited patiently all day to hear from someone (phone call, email, text, ANYTHING) telling me she made it safely. Finally at about 8:45pm our time, the mission president called and said she was there. They feed the new missionaries dinner and they keep them at the mission home that first night. Then tomorrow she will meet her new companion and go to her new apartment. I won't be able to hear anything from her until Monday now, because that will be her p-day for the rest of her mission. It's okay - Mondays need more help than Fridays do anyway.

It has been a good day! It's nice to have her in the mission field now and actually doing the things she has been taught and trained to do. I'm really excited to start seeing pictures of her in Washington DC. She is going to have such an amazing experience!

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