Well today is the day, Elder Martin is boarding a plane to Michigan. He has spent 3 weeks in the Provo MTC where I have sent him weekly packages of goodies. For some reason it was calming for me to know that even though I couldn’t see him, he was close. Just over the lake from my house. We emailed back and forth yesterday and he told me he would be able to call while waiting in the airport to board. Thinking about him packing his bags to leave first thing in the morning made my heart hurt a little. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what was going through his head and how nervous he was to get off a plane alone in a foreign state. Obviously I slept terrible. I woke up several times fearing that I missed his call, and then I couldn’t relax. I checked my phone several times throughout the early morning just to ease my mind that I hadn’t missed him. It seemed like I waited forever and then the phone finally rang. My eyes instantly began to sting, but I took a deep breathe and said “hello!” in the happiest voice I could manage. I already knew he would be struggling, and answering the phone near tears wasn’t going to help him. He muttered “Hi kays” and I could hear his voice crack. I had to fight the urge to just sob with him on the phone. I wanted to sit in silence and just listen to him breathe as I cried. But instead I asked him an array of questions. Mostly trying to steer clear of the sensitive subjects and the fear he had of the future. He talked about his experience in the MTC and how he wasn’t fond of the food. He told me about how hard it was to talk to his little brothers at home, and his dad. I could tell he wanted to dive in and ask about how Dad has been doing, but I also think he wanted to just keep positive and not dwell on the fact that he has cancer. We continued to chat about nothing really important, and his voice started to crack more. Tears ran down my face as the conversation started to die down. I didn’t want to hang up, ever. But I could hear the fear and sadness in his voice and it was time to go. I held it in long enough to tell him I loved him and hung up. I sobbed, hard. Seems like I’ve done more crying this year than I have in my entire life. I knelt in the living room and asked Heavenly Father to comfort him, help ease his mind and let him rest on his 3 hour flight. I prayed that the people of Michigan would be good to him, and that he will be protected. My mind then shifted to my parents, and I prayed that they would also be comforted today. I can’t even imagine the feelings they have on a day like today. It’s such a weird feeling to know that he is doing the right thing, and is where he needs to be, but also wish he could be home. It still doesn’t feel real sometimes as I have had to delete a text message that I have typed out for him, or take him out of the group message I was about to sent to the whole family. I know he is doing the right thing, and I know that both him and my family will be blessed because of his service, but sometimes that doesn’t make it any easier. 3 weeks down.