Hermana Patterson (as she is now known) left Las Vegas very early this morning. We left the house at 3:45am. It was kind of surreal as we drove in the dark across Desert Inn and saw all the lights of the strip. We arrived at the airport, stood in a very long line at the American Airlines ticket counter… like really, why was it so busy at 4:00am on a Tuesday? As we stood in line we saw another family that looked like they were doing what we were doing and we introduced ourselves. I can’t remember their last name, but their daughter was on her way to the Mexico City MTC (Missionary Training Center) as well. It was a little tender mercy to have a kindred spirit on the same journey as Tori. So after waiting in line for an hour and 15 minutes….. down at the ticketing counter, we finally got her bags off and made our way up to the security line. There was only about 30 minutes before her flight was scheduled to go so, we hugged her in the security line, cried a little (okay, maybe a lot) and watched her turn and face this new adventure on her own.
Of course we believe that she is never alone. She is in the service and therefore the care of her Heavenly Father. So, she has no phone, but I automatically checked my twitter feed to see what she was feeling and doing and realized again that I will miss her twitter updates. Can we just acknowledge that her tweets were entertaining? I used an online flight tracker to continue some type of connection with her and saw that her flight left 6 minutes early, arrived in Dallas early and her second leg of the flight to Mexico City was running only about 15 minutes late. She crossed over the Mexico Border around 11:30am. Her flight arrived in Mexico City at 12:30 Las Vegas time. (Okay, so I may be a bit of a stalker). Then a happy thing happened in that my husband got some random texts from someone and sent pictures to him of Tori. A friend of ours/ Dad of Tori’s friend Royce was on the first leg of her flight and sent us pictures.
Can you say Tender Mercy? We got an email from Tori around 3:30 this afternoon. And here it is:
PS feed the dog.”
For those of you who are not familiar with the procedures of a missionary entering the mission field, a day or two before their mission, the missionary is given a priesthood blessing from their stake president. In our case that is President Kurt Teshima. It is called being “set apart” meaning that she is being set apart from the world and becoming a full time missionary. That is why she signed out of all of her social media on Sunday night. Some very cool things happened to her the night she was set apart. One fun thing was that when we came out of the church on Desert Inn and Grand Canyon, there were fireworks going on somewhere south of where we were. She took that as a positive sign. Where else but in Vegas do you get to see a full on fireworks display after your setting apart?
She was told in the blessing that she would have a missionary opportunity on her way to the MTC which looks like it apparently happened that way. #testify And she was told that her companion (missionaries are always paired up and work together and that person is called your companion) in the MTC would become her best friend…. We discussed that in great length on Monday. How exactly do you tell the person you are about to meet that you are going to be best friends without coming across as too creepy? #besties
So if you would like to email Hermana Patterson you sure can. I am not sure how often she will be able to check email but it will probably be about once a week. She will not have a lot of time on the computer so if she doesn’t respond back right away, she will get to it eventually. She loves her social media friends! (And her real life friends and family too!) Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am going to give a great effort to keep this blog updated for her 🙂 (Tori would have inserted emojis there…. I do not know how to do that yet)