⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

October 6, 2008

Paul and Marc

Two of my brothers, Paul and Marc are on my mind (my other two brothers are too, but they are just more stationary at the moment). Both are gone. (Technically, I am gone as well - but it doesn't really count, because I am still with me). Marc in is India - Dharemsala. Paul has just left for a 2-year mission for the LDS church, an important rite of passage of Mormon men.

Marc (featured here with a friend in India) is leading a group of students from BYU there. On his way home from this, he is going to stop in Paris to see us and that makes me elated.

Paul will be gone much longer. It is strange to think that I will not see my brother, unequivocally, for 2 years. For her mission, my sister Julie went to Johannesburg, South Africa. Her time away from me was long and although she was personally carved to go there and to do what she did, I didn't appreciate how far and inaccessible she was. No phone calls (except on Christmas and Mother's Day) and only lots of letter writing. We did do lots of letter writing during that time. It is a unique form of communication because in those letters we said things we may never have said otherwise.

So, Paul left this week for the Fort Lauderdale Mission in Florida (which, he excitedly told me, includes the Florida Keys, but missionaries aren't allowed to go swimming...tricky) - Spanish speaking. For the next 2 months he will be in a place called the MTC (Mission Training Center) in Provo, Utah - where he will be taught intensive Spanish and how to teach the Mormon Gospel. My parents could not be prouder - it is written on my Dad's face below.

I admire Paul and what he is doing. He is 19-years old and he has deep devotion to his religion and his culture. My Dad told a funny story about the day they dropped him off at the MTC - at the end of the day they spent with him, Paul turned to my Mom and Dad and said, "I'm getting kind of tired of this suit." (A suit will be his uniform for the next two years). This is classically Paul - the one who said in Athens, Greece - after we had been there for a matter of hours, "I'm sick of all this old-fashioned crack." He's always surrounded by smiling people and he is usually the cause.

Since I've been thinking of him this week, I've done some online research and found some sites where one can send care packages to missionaries in the MTC. I sent him some cinnamon rolls, but that is sort of nondescript. While Julie was in the MTC, Stephen and I would usually send her a daily item - like a single fruit cup or a box of raisins. That is what's up next for Pablo.

1 comment:

Jill said...

I've been missing Marc and Paul for awhile now. Having them so much further away and unaccessible is making me miss them harder than ever. When it comes to your family, I'm an expert at missing!

Tonight for FHE we will be making cookies for Paul. He should be getting some good junk food!

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