Well it is official, Alyssa is off to Japan. Well actually, since I am writing this today, she has been there for about 14 hours now. Or at least I believe that she is there. As far as I know, she got on her connecting plane in Seattle. I very much enjoyed tracking the flight and I know that she arrived in Tokyo. But what happened after that is anyone's guess :0 I am going with the adage that no news is good news.
Yesterday was a very strange day in a mother's life. We were all so excited to talk to Alyssa on the phone. She started her day at 3 in the morning. She took both Front Runner and Trax to the airport. Apparently it was quite fun trying to juggle all of her luggage and get from Provo to SLC. But she had a lot of help from the Elders and very nice members along the way. She had to say goodbye to her dear companion at the MTC. It was very difficult for her because they had formed such a strong bond and truly loved each other. But she did travel with a couple of other Sisters that are going to Kobe and she loves them too. There was also a group of native Japanese that don't speak much English. So, Alyssa was their official translator at the airport to help them check in and get through security. I am sure they repaid the favor in Tokyo for Alyssa. It gave me hope that she has a little bit of handle on the language.
It was wonderful to hear her voice again. Even more wonderful than that was to hear her enthusiasm and excitement to be heading to the mission field. She loved the MTC but was really ready to get out of there. She loves being a missionary and just wanted to jump in full speed ahead to start loving and teaching the people. She has already fostered a great love for the Japanese people and that will serve her well.
Near the end of the conversation she spoke to us entirely in Japanese. She went on for more than 5 minutes. It seemed pretty impressive to me. Near the end she was in tears. I am not sure if she was saying how much she missed every one or how nervous she was, or how much she loves the Gospel and is ready to serve. But I wish I could have reached through the phone and given her one last hug. I am choosing to believe that she was overcome by the spirit of her call and her desire to serve. I didn't realize that it would be difficult to say goodbye all over again. I felt peace knowing she is ready but that last goodbye and click of the phone felt so final. That was it. Our lives have officially separated and our on different paths. I am so thrilled by her good choices, hard work and dedication and know she will be a fabulous missionary. I tried to imagine her sleeping in some strange bed in a foreign country in the mission home and just couldn't picture it. Now is the time for me to have faith and know that she is fully and truly in the Lord's hands.
Since she won't have an official p-day this week, I have included the last letter we received in the mail, It was good. I love that the Japanese speakers have given her a nick-name and it represents her being a bright, happy and sparkly person. It will help give her something to live up to and who wouldn't want to be known as sparkly?!