There's a lump in my throat and I'm fighting the tears. It always happens this way with me...I'm all fine and dandy--not sad, not emotional, not stressed, not freaking out--UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!!!
It's a matter of hours at this point. Her bags are packed and sitting at the front door.
We will drive her to the airport tomorrow morning where she will fly directly to Mexico City.
This is my last day with her for a long time--18 months to be exact.
I find myself just watching her. She is standing at the kitchen sink, cleaning up after her bagel and ham sandwich she just made. I just took a snapshopt of her in my mind. Long, soft curls cascading the top half of a grey UofA sweatshirt, dark jeans, fuzzy socks, and that beautiful smirky smile.
But, to be honest, more than anything, we are so excited for her missionary adventure. She is so ready, so prepared by the Lord for this mission. If you were at her farewell, you know what I mean. I had a special experience toward the end of Raini's talk on Sunday, I want to share...
My mom said to her cousin, Judi, last October before she died: "Look at Shauna. She is my reward." Although that was humbling for me to hear about myself coming from my mom, I didn't fully feel the impact of that statement until it hit me as a mom looking at my own daughter who had just given the most wonderful talk at her farewell, Sunday.
As I watched my little girl change almost instantly into this strong, spiritual giant standing at the podium in front of 300 people, an indescribable sense of humble honor swept over me, and that same phrase came almost audible into my ears as I heard the words: "She is YOUR reward."
I thank the Lord for these tender mercy moments that remind me that my mother is not far from me, ever helping me keep proper perspectives.
Being Raini's mom is truly rewarding. I can't express how proud of her we are. She has been such a great example to us and I thank the Lord daily for her in our family. Thank you, everyone who has supported her during this wonderful time of her life. We had over 60 people come over and enjoy in our celebration. And, there are countless others who are sending love and support from afar.
I will be posting her weekly missionary letters and sharing her experiences on her blog site and via email, for those who prefer that. If you haven't already "signed up" for the weekly email, and you'd like to receive the email, please either post your email below, email me your email, or P.M. me with your email.
I will be posting photos, excerpts from her letters, and any other inspiring or interesting information from her experiences in Mexico and North Carolina.
Also, here is her contact information.
Sister Natalie Rainier Weller
North Carolina Raleigh Mission
Mexico Missionary Training Center
Charretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal
Or you can email her direactly at:
You may write good 'ole fashion letters to the Mexico Missionary Training Center address above, or you can email her directly. Her physical address will change as she gets transferred from area to area beginning in January. That will be updated on the blog and emails, too.
p.s. if you see more and more Spanish in these posts, bear with me, I'm just so excited to be able to speak with her "en español"!