So after waiting, and waiting, and waiting, it finally came! For some of us it was way too fast in coming, and for others, and one in particular, it couldn't happen soon enough! We will let you decide who was in what camp.
Last night, Gabriel was supposed to be set apart at 8:00 pm. We went to Panda Express. Maybe it was in remembrance of when he received his call, we went there after he opened it. Or maybe it just seemed like a good idea because the boy is a fan of orange chicken! Then we headed over to the stake center. We were there a little early but not much. Still we were the first arrivals. Everyone, except mom piled out of the car and soon started making laps around the stake center. Slowly but surely the girls got back in the car and Gabriel and his dad kept lapping the church. I am pretty sure those were cherished last moments for both of them. Time passed (SLOWLY TO BE SURE) as one by one Gabe's grandmas, bishop, and young men's leaders showed up. We decided that the guest of honor was present but the host, President Hathaway, just was not making an appearance.
|Waiting for President Hathaway|
I know that most of the people there didn't mind that the host was not there but here is a picture of the guest of honor. Finally our bishop called him. I am not sure what happened but he apologized profusely when he got there. Gabe was cute and said, "That's alright you are only 35 minutes late." I think Gabriel was trying to be gracious but poor President Hathaway kind of got a stricken look as he hung his head and shook it a little and said, "Oh man! You've been watching the clock." Gabe quickly assured him that it was alright.
We all went to the high council room while President Hathaway took our young man to his office for his final interview before setting him apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When they finally came in, the good men who have been a part of Gabe's life, one from the beginning, and others throughout his youth assisted as President Hathaway fulfilled the long held desires of Gabriel's heart and set him apart as a representative for our dear Savior, elder brother, and friend - Jesus Christ. As Gabe's mother, I understand the Saviors mother a little more. For most of that night's proceedings I will do as she did when, she "kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."
I envisioned the little babe I held in my arms not really all that long ago. He was perfect then and he is "practically perfect" now. I adore him and am more thankful than I have words to express for the past 18 and a half years that I have been privileged to have him in my home. I must say I am thankful that he is only "practically perfect" for if he had reached perfection already he would have been taken from me before I could send him to Peru. I am so thankful for him and for Peru. For I truly believe that he, much like Esther, could answer the question in an affirmative, ". . . and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14 In the deepest part of my heart I believe that Gabe was born unto this call. He was born to be a representative of sweet Jesus. I know they love each other.
And thus begins our, okay his, great adventure!