Shoot, I didn't mean to let that sad blog post linger at the top of this blog for so long, (thank you so much for all the sweet thoughts sent our way, we really appreciate it), let's move to something a little happier. I mean, it is December after all. And in eleven days we get to TALK TO OUR MISSIONARY!
Can we just pause for a minute and think about how exciting that is?? We can hardly stand it.
Max has been out for almost a year (he's out for two years all together, and we get to skype on Christmas and Mother's Day). In some ways it's almost like you get to the point where you wonder if he really is a real boy out there on the other side of the world or just a figment of your imagination.
And the thought of giving him a hug makes you want to burst out in tears.
And you wonder how you ever took having him around all the time for granted and why oh why didn't you just sit and soak him in every second of every day. (Because it would have driven him crazy, obviously, so it's a good thing I didn't, but BOY we miss that boy of ours!)
Max has had so many amazing experiences over there in Taiwan. I don't think I've written a real update on him since August (back HERE), because it's hard to know what to share and it's also hard to keep up. I started a digital missionary book for him and I've started downloading all his letters and pictures there, so that takes away from time here, but here's a quick recap:
I love that boy.
I love to hear what he's learning.
I love his glowing letters.
They glow even when he has a hard time.
Is that just because I'm his mother?
He went through a phase where he sent a bunch of voice memos. We loved them because there's nothing like hearing your boy's voice when he's far away. How he laughs, how he jokes, and his love for the people over there comes through loud and clear.
Then he got transferred to work in the mission office for a couple months.
He was the "Operations Manager" which means he took care and lived in the same apartment with his companions and the two mission "APs" (assistants to the mission president).
The new AP was his trainer so he was happy to be back with him, and have close proximity to his amazing mission president, but working in the office was a little tough for him. Which is awesome because it can't be all butterflies and rainbows or you wouldn't learn right? He was so happy to be helping out the "greatest mission in the world" but was itching to be out among the people again.
He got to get out at night, and got to teach a pretty awesome guy about the church who ended up getting baptized which was pretty cool.
And now he's back down south again loving live with all his might. He is so worried that it's all going to end in a year.
What is it that makes a 19-year-old kid adore being out of his comfort zone and want it to never end? I don't know, but I do know that part of it is when you forget yourself and just love and serve others you are HAPPY.
And that's what he's doing.
Oh I know there are tough days. But I love that he's learning to transform the tough stuff into learning lessons and he's becoming a man and a leader in so many ways.
Here are some pictures from random letters:
He got our Thanksgiving package late, but at least he got it!
Still rocking the tevas-with-socks look just for his mom and sisters who he knows he will lovingly bug with this pic:)