October 30, 2012
Michelle’s wonderful blog has now officially been turned over to me, her mom, for the next 18 months. I will post Michelle’s letters home and upload pictures that she is able to send. Tonight was Michelle’s official last night as regular Michelle. We went out to dinner for crab-her favorite for dinner. Then back at our home it was time for Michelle to be set apart as a missionary. We invited both sets of grandparents; Andrew, Dave and I were also there. The Highland Utah West Stake President, Kevin Anderson arrived to set Michelle apart and give her a blessing. The Spirit was so strong it was an amazing experience. President Anderson asked each of Michelle’s family members to tell Michelle why she will be a good missionary. We went around the room, each member of the family telling Michelle why we think she will be a good missionary. Each person’s comments were personal and specific. I believe Michelle will use these comments throughout her mission. I hope they will give her courage to remember and have faith that she is in the right place at the right time, serving the Lord with all her heart, mind and strength. Many of the comments focused on Michelle’s ability to love others, especially children and people with special needs. Another theme was that she loves different cultures, already going to Fiji, Iceland, Mexico, and Aruba. I know that Hungary will be her new favorite. Michelle also has a love for genealogy work and temple work. Going to the temple so many times before her mission will help give her the strength she needs to serve. Michelle has been in training to be a missionary for a long time. She shared the gospel and was a great example to many friends in Washington and Maryland.
President Anderson then asked Michelle to share her testimony; she thanked all her family and bore a wonderful testimony of the gospel of Christ and the plan of happiness. Then President Anderson set Michelle apart as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gave her a very detailed personal blessing. The blessing is very sacred to her and she doesn’t want me to share it in the blog, but I will say that it was like a Patriarchal Blessing. It was very detailed and long (in a good way). I know what strength it will give her throughout her mission and she will see the warnings and blessing full-filled in the next 18 months. It was a very emotional time. It was also hard to say good-bye to her grandparents. I wish we would have gotten the camera out sooner to take a picture of her with Roy and Patricia Curtin and President Anderson before they left, but here are some photos of her before saying good-bye to Darrell and Ruth Erickson, her brother Andrew and dog River.