It's been tough the past couple of months. This transition has affected the whole family in different ways; including the distance relatives. Some internalise all the emotions and feelings while others are pretty openly expressing theirs with lots and lots of tears and hugs.
For myself, it's been really tough. It made it a little easier to spend so much time with him and the missionaries, teaching lessons and doing missionary work with them. But in a way, it has also made it harder. On the 23rd of March, I found out that two missionaries who I had spent a lot of time with, Elder Faulkner and Elder Tsai, were getting transferred from the area. I had hoped to continue the missionary work with them after Mike left but it feels like three of my closest friends have just completely left me. It's normal for missionaries to leave as soon as they are called to, that's apart of the calling. But still, it doesn't help or ease the melancholy feelings of disappointment.
I'm so proud of my brother, Michael, though. It was only a couple of years (3 and a half perhaps?) ago that Michael had heard of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was taught by the missionaries towards baptism. Now, he will be that young man serving as a missionary teaching those just like him. He'll be blessing other families just like the missionaries have blessed mine.
It's great work and I'm so excited for him! It's tough and upsetting but exciting!
I don't think the realization will hit until Michael is actually in the New Zealand Missionary Training Center that he really is, in fact, not here for TWO years. In reality, I will be nineteen when he comes back, possibly preparing for my own mission.
I'm not too sure what to say. This whole week leading up has been an emotional roller coaster not only for myself but for my parents and brothers. I'm happy, then sad, then excited then frustrated with my own life.
It'll be over as quickly as it started, it just takes that leap of faith to begin the journey. If it's anything like what EFY (Especially For Youth) was, I know he'll come back a MUCH greater man of Christ with a stronger testimony. Missionary work is very close to my heart, and I hope that one day I can do it myself, whether I'm nineteen or senior and married to my Eternal companion.
Let's hope that the next two days won't be filled with lots of tears and moping around the house...