Monday, February 23, 2009

Elder Whitnah is heading to Deutschland

Sean was up early this morning at the MTC. 4 am to be exact. He and 16 other missionaries bound for the Germany Frankfurt Mission loaded buses to the Salt Lake airport around 5 am. Once getting to the airport they all got checked through to their final destination city. Frankfurt!!

Sean called from the airport a little while ago. It was great to hear his voice and the excitement he had to FINALLY be heading to his mission. He loved the MTC and the training he received there but he is now ready to begin his mission among the German people starting early tomorrow morning.

His plane should arrive in Frankfurt around 7 am Frankfurt time and then he and the other missionaries will be taken to a hotel to sleep for a few hours. They then will be taken out into the streets and begin "street preaching" They will do this for a couple hours and then grab something to eat. After that they are off to the Mission Home and Sean will have an meeting with President Ninow, his Mission President. He will meet his companion and find out where in the mission they will be serving. Sister Ninow is planning on preparing a HUGE dinner for all 17 missionaries along with the President and herself. Sean is looking forward to that. He is also looking forward to some of the yummy German foods

Needless to say I imagine Sean will be pretty exhausted when it's 9:30 pm Frankfurt time tomorrow night! I think with all the excitement, nervous energy and emotions he is having right now that he will pull his way through. I am so happy for him to finally have this chance to serve his mission. He has always wanted to do this and I know he will love it and come back so grown and mature from all his experiences. Ich liebe dich Elder Whitnah!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Surprise Phone Call From Sean Today

The phone rang and I looked at the ID. It said BYU. My first thought was maybe the Y was calling in regards to Sean's information and application. They wouldn't normally do that but I wasn't sure. I answered the phone and a young man's voice said a simple "hi". I said hello back and then asked "who is this?" (now I knew it was Sean's voice and yet I knew he wouldn't be calling me from the MTC) When Sean then's me Mom I got a big grin on my face :) It's amazing how the voice of someone you love so dearly can melt your heart! It's great with all the technology we have today how we can record voices and make videos for keepsakes. I loved hearing Sean's voice, we talked for about 10 minutes. It was great.

Sean was calling because their were issues with his debit card and his Branch President asked him to phone us. It seems like it's been ages since he left and yet it's only been 8 weeks! He told me he was so pumped and excited to leave for Germany and his companion also said hello. Needless to say I will need to phone the bank tomorrow and get his card resolved prior to his leaving next week for Germany. Next week at this time he will be bound for Germany. We are SO excited for him to get into the field!

His MP (Mission President), President Ninow wrote us a couple weeks ago and asked that we send out a letter to him which included information about Sean. His accomplishments, awards, jobs, likes and dislikes. It was fun to sit down and describe our son to a man who has yet to meet him but who sounds excited to soon have him as a missionary working for the people of Frankfurt. Those who know Sean, know that he will give his all to this cause and will want to be not only a good missionary but a great one. Now I am in no way bragging when I say this. Sean has simply always been the type of person who strives to do his best and do all he can and I know he will do this on his mission.

I think the only regret Bethany will have when she hears that Sean called is that she was not here to pick up the phone and say hi to him. She has missed him a great deal. Earlier this morning she was playing one of songs that she recorded on the piano and she began to cry and tell me how much she missed Sean. I am thinking of letting her skip school next week so that she can talk with him on Monday when he will make his phone call from the airport. She needs to hear his voice too and know that he is fine and that will make her happy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bryan became a Deacon

Yesterday was a special day for Bryan as he was ordained a deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood. If someone had told me ten years ago that he would at the age of 13 be a deacon I would have probably laughed at them. Bryan was diagnosed at 3 with autism and at that point in his life had no language. He had about 10 words that he had said but then stopped talking all together.

He has been through myriads of therapy, diets and more therapy and through the knowledge we have learned and thankfully to some wonderful aides at school he has progressed and grown in ways I didn't see for him. I was the one with little faith in what he could be.

Bryan is constantly teaching about the love he has for life. The love he feels towards just about everyone and everything. He finds happiness in the smallest details. He isn't afraid of much either...well bees. Bees terrify him. I am so thankful for having this sweet young boy in our lives and for his goodness and willingness to do what is right at ALL times. Literally!

I love you Bryan