From a worried mother…
Its been almost a week and I still haven’t heard from my missionary! Let me go back almost a week…
Chandlers flight to Santiago, Chile was scheduled for 2:30 pm. This worked out great because I was flying into LAX that same day at 1:50 pm to meet up with Gabby as she was playing beach volleyball at Hermosa, Beach CA. I was very relaxed because I knew I would be able to spend EVEN MORE time with Chandler because I could walk through security and hang out with him for a while at his gate before leaving for my gate.
All the goodbyes were many and hard. Even our dog Lexi knew something was happening and she was a little sad.
We held it together for Chandler because we wanted to make his departure as easy for him as possible. Gabby had a 5:30 am flight, so she said her good byes to Chandler Monday night. Steve said his goodbye around 10am before leaving for work. Coulson came over to spend the morning with us and so he, McKinnon and Bella said their goodbyes in the driveway before leaving we left for the airport.
We talked about who would change the most while he is gone and Chandler predicted that McKinnon would change the most in a nonphysical sense and Gabby would change the most in appearance.
Ariel said her goodbyes at the departures drop off area and we were off to check in. Upon checking in at the Delta counter we saw another missionary checking in as well. We met him and found out that he is serving in the Santiago, Chile mission as well and would be traveling with Chandler the whole way. We made our way through security and to our gate where we met yet another missionary heading to Chile. What a great relief to know that Chandler would be traveling with some other missionaries over the long journey. As I sat with Chandler knowing I needed to say goodbye and be on my way to catch my flight, I knew I still needed to do one last thing. Collect his cell phone… by far the hardest thing for this missionary to give up was going to be his cell phone, his link to his friends, family, sports, entertainment, etc. etc. He wondered out loud how he would pass the time on the flight without any electronic devices (his generation just isn’t use to this). I said, well, you have all those brand new church books you can break out…
It was time, so he gave me his cell phone, I gave him my best last words of encouragement, a big long hug (still holding it together). Then, I walked away, and he went to sit with the other two elders. Not able to hold it in any longer, I broke down as I walked away from him and headed to the bathroom to have a good cry. Soon, after a little prayer, all was good and I was off to my flight.
Every minute I am thinking about Chandler. Did he make it to Chile ok? Im wondering what he is doing, what he is eating, how he is sleeping, how he is feeling, how the learning is coming along, who is he meeting, is he having second thoughts? etc. etc. Of course Im so anxious to hear from him. He thought his Prep day would be Thursdays…no word on Thursday. Then we thought for sure Monday… no word on Monday.
I checked email regularly all day on Monday then around 6pm, knowing Chile is three hours ahead of Denver time, it was 9pm in Chile, I started to overthink things and get a little worried that I hadn’t heard from him. Chandler is an experienced traveler, so I knew that if there would have been an issue getting to Chile, he would have solved it, but as a mom, its my job to worry a bit. (Chandler would roll his eyes as to what I did next!)
So to reassure myself, I googled the Chile MTC and found their email address and composed the following email:
My name is Jana Rae Brown and my son Chandler Brown left for your Mission Training Center on Tuesday, July 14th to arrive early morning on the 15th. I haven’t heard from him since he left and I thought I would have heard from him on his pday (today?), but I didn’t hear from him, so I just want to confirm that he arrived safe.
thank you very much
jana rae brown
An hour later, I heard back from Elder Sherman:
He got here just fine. He arrived a day late because his flight was delayed going to Atlanta and he missed the flight from Atlanta to Santiago. He was with two other elders. The Atlanta Mission took care of him. I had him send an email home when he arrived so I don’t know why you didn’t receive it. His preparation day is Tuesday afternoon so you should hear from him.
So I know three things:
1. He arrived safely
2. Prep day is Tuesdays (YEAH!)
3. He needs to learn my email address (I think because he didn’t have “autofil” from his email account with my email address, his email to me letting me know he arrived safely never made it to me).
Cant wait for the first email on Tuesday!