Apr 1, 2010

Going, Going, GONE!
Part III

 Preparing for a mission is very much a family affair. 
So while Manny was winging his way across the Atlantic on his way to the Salt Lake City airport, the family members in Utah were busy putting the finishing touches on his clothing and other needs.  They had been working on the project well ahead of time.
Uncle Bob had served with Manny on a humanitarian mission to Ghana three years ago so he was ready and willing to help in any way possible.  He volunteered to be Manny's "Brunch Buddy" in setting up a family dinner for the relatives and friends in Utah so they could spend a little time with Manny before he was to enter the Missionary Training Center in Provo.                                              
Paul, a brother in law, was holding the fort at home with the children while Kezia, his wife, was working feverishly to gather the clothing and other items Manny would need on the list sent from Church headquarters.

 Great Granny Bannatyne in Indiana was posting off beautiful hankies for the new missionary.

But hands down, without any question, the bulk of the work fell to the team of Kezia,  a sister, and Bishop Dave Andersen, a terrific family friend and the manager of the Mr. Mac store in Logan.
Between them, they were the quintessential

Hans' skills from his fashion designer days came in incredibly handy.  He measured Manny as only a qualified tailor could and fired off all the information by e-mail to Kezia.  She got together with Bishop Andersen and they started in to choose two-pant suits, long and short sleeve white shirts, ties, belts, socks, underwear, waterproof shoes that didn't look waterproof, more hankies, towels, a shaving kit, a shoeshine kit, a first aid kit, an ordinance card, a temple recommend holder, consecrated oil and a vial to hold it, and the luggage to pack everything into. 
They even got him a mission shoulder bag, invented by a returned missionary,  with a camel back bladder included for hydration on long, hot days of tracting and contacting. 
Nothing was missing!

Remember back in the "Log On!" post where it showed Manny doing all the forest work, earning money for his mission?  Those earnings, combined with what he had already saved over the years in his missionary account made it possible to outfit him beautifully.  A commendable achievement for a hard working young man.

When Manny arrived in Utah, Kezia and Uncle Bob drove down with  all his clothing and other items.  They were able to meet up with Manny just before it was time for the family dinner to start. We were holding our breath, hoping that all the clothing would feel good and look good.  This would be his wardrobe for the next two years and we wanted him to feel comfortable and confident.
Here's the first try-on...a shirt and tie...SO FAR SO GOOD....
the colors look wonderful on him, the shirt fits well, and now for...

It fit him PERFECTLY!!  Even the pants broke in exactly the right place on the top of the shoe when he was walking, the color was just what he likes in a could not have been better. 
Later, Kezia told us that when she and Bishop Andersen were putting everything together up in Logan, (the pressure was on), and  they were winding it up,  going over the list to make sure they had everything... at the last minute Bishop Andersen said,

"OK.  Now it's my turn".

He went throughout the store, designed to outfit missionaries in every way, and began to pick up items here and there, one of this and one of that....things that Kezia would not have known would be of benefit out in the mission field, but that Bishop Andersen would absolutely know from all his experience.  When he had them all together, he turned and said to Kezia
(indicating the items were for Manny),

"From one Swede to another".

We were so overwhelmed at his kindness to us.  He is too modest a man to ever take any credit for himself, but we were so appreciative of his love for a young man he has never even met.  You can bet we will be redoubling our efforts on this side of the world in helping him to search out his Swedish roots.

This is how it looked driving away from the farm on the day Manny left.
He went from home, to the airport in Umeå, to the airport in  Stockholm, to the airport in Salt Lake City, to the Missionary Training Center in Provo.
And when his training is complete, this is how it will look when he arrives at the airport in Riga, Latvia where the Mission Home is for the Baltic States Mission.

Our Straight Arrow has been launched.
He's Gone.
We love you Elder Karlsson.


Lauralee said...

How wonderful! Everything turned out perfectly. A great start to Manny's mission!

MStevenson said...

he is going to be an awesome missionary!

Anonymous said...

He was so cool coming over! Very harmonic and diplomatic, making everyone feel loved and noticed! Not easy when there are so many that are standing in line for ones attention! Good job in raising him mom and dad! Love/Louise