Monday, January 4, 2010

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First Letter

Area: Prove MTC

Dear Family,

Well my first day was pretty good. Really tiring. I'm ready for bed big time. My butt hurts from sitting all day. Breakfast was good even though we were kind of rushed. My companion didn't show so now I'm in a three some. It's going pretty good though. There are 3 guys from or who lived in Arizona area so that's cool. Well I got to go to bed. Lights out. Good night.


Picture -- Grandma Gwynn's thoughts on Mitch's arrival and departure

Wednesday ~ the morning began very early for Mitch ~ he said: 3:45 a.m. Though his plane from Phoenix departed on time ~ his arrival in Salt Lake City was late! I saw several new Elders as I waited by the baggage carousel #8. As the minutes ticked away, I began to feel I had missed him! After much pacing a decision was made and I moved toward the escalator ~ and there he was! My lost was found! Baggage was picked up and we were out the door to the van. A cold snowy day greeted Mitch! There was concern about the breakfast planned at Little America ~ we barely squeaked in where Mitch's Davis Grandparents were waiting. All is well! Mind pictures were being added to those of the day for each of us. The hustle of earlier hours was now peaceful. We didn't rush through breakfast but it was time to be on the road to Provo. Mitch seated in the co-pilot's chair, Davis Grandparents in the middle row in the captain chairs and Grandma G in the back row. We arrived in Provo with time to take pictures at the Temple as we had planned. It was closed for the day but a young man with a heavy snow blower was cleaning the walkways around the large entrance area...he was our only competion! Privacy and peace! Snowing a little more there than down in town. All too soon the minutes clicked away...hugs and expressions of love were exchanged with moist eyes and it was back to the van. Wait! Glasses need to be exchanged for contacts. With that chore completed but not as quickly as other days, Mitch pulled a printed pass from his pocket to place at the windshield. We are at the drive and being motioned forward and then a turn and what do we see? Elders and more Elders line the very long sidewalk with big smiles and large waves with some thumbs up from some as we continue to be motioned forward to the very last section. Mitch gets out and immediately two Elders step forward as the back is opened to retrieve the bags. I had turned in the seat and was on my knees to assist and as Mitch reached to close the door, our eyes caught just long enough for a final 'I love you, Mitch' and they walked together toward the building in conversation and disappeared. The van was already in motion. Mitch did not look back. His Grandfather Davis commented, it was like being in a parade...with President Monson inside! Such a heartwarming reception filled with joy! We already knew he would be in good hands when he arrived but the response to his entry said all that was needed. ~Grandma G~

Pictures -- Wednesday Dec. 30, 2009 -- Off to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah

This morning started so early. As usual we left a little later than we planned but still got to the airport by 5:15. Elder Davis' plane was scheduled to leave at 7:00 a.m. He got his baggage checked fairly quickly and then we went and sat with him for an hour before he needed to go through security. We just sat and enjoyed being together. Not a lot of conversation. I think we were all so tired and still trying to not think of the final "goodbye". We all look like we just rolled out of bed in the pictures we took because we all did except for Mitch who showered and dressed in his missionary attire he will be wearing for the next two years. As we sat there another family came with their missionary. They are so easy to pick out. Young man with a short haircut, dressed in a dark suit with a backpack on. Mom and girls are crying. Dad and Grandpa are taking video and pictures. We found out their son will be serving in Central Canada. It also looked like there may have been a sister missionary going as well. Same scene. Conservative dark clothes. Lots of picture taking with family and lots of tears. When it was time for Mitch to leave he hugged everyone and that is when the tears really started. Mitch gives great hugs and I know for me and his grandmothers we are really going to miss those over the next two years. We watched him go through security and then we went home. It was a pretty quiet day for everyone at the Davis house. Dad went to work. I know we all wondered through the day what Mitch might be doing at that particular time. Mitch's grandparents on both sides picked him up at the airport in Salt Lake City, took him to the breakfast buffet at Little America Hotel- a family favorite and Mitch's request. The they delivered him to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.

Pictures -- Tuesday Dec. 29, 2009 -- Mitch's Last 24 Hours Before Leaving for MTC

This morning started early with a trip to the orthodontist to pick up the retainer that was made yesterday. We stopped at Whole Grain Bread Company for loaf of Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread. The kids requested we stop and how can you deny your child something he wants when he is leaving you for two years. One last chance to give him what he wants (Mitch and I also stopped for eggnog shakes at Jack in the Box the week before while out running errands the week before). We then went to get Mitch a seasonal flu shot. The MTC stated he needed that and H1N1 before coming. He had already gotten the latter. When we got home Mitch went and played tennis with Ricky, then he was off to see some friends before coming home to spend some time with family who were visiting from Utah. While he was gone playing tennis I got most of his stuff packed to his surprise when he got home. He was a little concerned he would not be able to repack it when he leaves the MTC for Montana since it was done for him. I told him to just do the opposite of how he unpacks it all. We all went out to dinner that night as a family to a mexican restaurant we had all been to except for him. He has heard us all talk about how good it is and wanted to go. One final stop at WalMart on the way home. President Solomon came by at 9:00 and set Mitch apart as a missionary and officially as Elder Davis. It was a really neat experience. We all hugged and cried after Pres. Solomon left. We knew it wouldn't be much longer before we said our final goodbyes to each other. Mitch got to bed later than he had wanted for needing to be up the next morning at 3:45 to leave for the airport by 4:15.

Pictures -- Monday Dec. 28, 2009 -- Mitch's Last 48 Hours Before Leaving for MTC

Monday morning Mitch was finishing final preparations before leaving for the MTC on Wednesday morning. He had an orthodontist appointment in the morning for a retainer. (Mitch hasn't used one much since his braces came off almost 5 years ago. He promised he will wear it every night). When he got home he got out his luggage and everything that needed to go in it and put it all in the family room. When I saw it all I thought to myself  "this doesn't look like very much for being away two years". Monday night was the much anticipated BYU/UofA basketball game in Tucson. He had really wanted to go but then settled on watching at home with friends and family. Mitch was happy with BYU's awesome win. He loves Jimmer Fredette and hours before leaving for the MTC he was coming up with t-shirts he wanted to produce and sell on the internet. Before his friends Brett and Ricky left for the night they posed for pictures for one last time as they will not be together again for three years. In some they posed as each other. Can you tell who is supposed to be who?