So, we had about an hour before Rio was reporting to the MTC...her time was 1:15 pm & after we packed up the car w/about 5000 pounds of her luggage & about 100 pieces of carry ons, & we went grabbed some lunch for the non junk food eaters (Mom & hermanita Shepard:) then circled the MTC a few times, & felt so sorry for all the families saying good bye to their missionaries......& then we realized that was going to be US in about 30 minutes!!! Ugh;/
So we drove up above the Temple, next to a bike/hiking trail & we sat there....just sat there for a few minutes w/out saying much. Then Rio asked to listen to hers & her dads "song" one last time before she had to go...he said "NO" & I said YES...she won't hear it again for 18 months & it's a special song to them <3
Well....that's when the flood gates opened up WIDE & lot's of tears started pouring down our cheeks:( It was very sad...but funny @ the same time! Hermanita Shepard was laughing, talking, & crying pretty much all @ once lol...she reminded me of what she was like on our drive home from getting her wisdom teeth taken out lol:) But it was mostly lot's n lot's n lot's of tears....happy tears & sad tears...
This was one of the hardest moments in our family's life. I (mother:) didn't want to let my baby girl go...I wanted to hold onto her forever, but I knew I had to let her go, Hermanita Shepard is on the Lord's errands, She has been called to serve & labor in Buenos Aires South, Argentina, she has a mission to complete, & I/we are so happy, & very thankful that she has chosen to do this. It's not going to be easy, in fact I think it's going to be pretty darn tough most of the time, BUT I know that she will LOVE it, she will grow, and she will help change lives for the good. Our family has already seen BIG miracles, & some very sweet & tender mercies in th less than 72 hours that she has been serving.
The church is true. The Gospel has been restored on this earth. The Atonement of Christ is real, & it's for EVERYBODY. The plan of Salvation is beautiful. Families CAN be Eternal. & sister Heramnita Shepard has a message to share w/the people of Argentina, the land of so many of her ancestors, & it's not a coincidence that she has been called to that country.
I (mamma:) am SO excited for her to get out to Argentina & experience life just a little bit like her maternal grandparents did, to get to know the culture more than she already does, & embrace the people there. I KNOW she will be a powerful missionary, & will gain a stronger testimony as she gives of her time, & talents 100% for these next 18 months!
Hermanita Shepard started this blog about a week before she reported to the MTC, & I will be keeping it up for her while she is serving:)!
I will be posting her emails, & some portions of the emails she sends me:) Along w/lot's of photos, and any videos she is able to send home:)
Please keep her in your prayers & thoughts from time to time, & maybe send her an email or two over the next several moths, I know she would love that! She also LOVE pictures, so even just a picture & a caption & email that to her any day of the week & she would LOVE that:)!
Also, once she gets home we will make this blog into a book, so any comments you post will be recorded & published for her to have forever & ever!:)