(This blog post was compiled by Elder Bowers' Mom):
First, a little bit of background... Tyler received his mission call in July. He was living in Provo, Utah, attending BYU and working. Our family Skyped with him to hear/see him open and read the letter that came from Church Headquarters, and was signed by Thomas S. Monson, the current prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We were excited and surprised to hear where he would be spending the next two years:
Baguio, Philippines, speaking Tagalog.
The Philippines is so far away! It's hard to imagine Tyler being gone for such a long time in an unfamiliar place, speaking a new language and immersing himself in a new culture. At the same time, it seems the perfect place for him to be called to serve. I have complete faith and confidence that this call was issued through wisdom and inspiration from Heavenly Father, who knows perfectly where Tyler is needed most.
We were surprised to learn also that Tyler would have only five weeks to prepare to enter the MTC (mission training center) in Provo, where he would spend the first nine weeks of his mission learning the language and receiving instruction before leaving for the Philippines.
Tyler had a lot to accomplish in those five weeks leading up to his August 28th departure date for the MTC, including selling his motorcycle, computer, and phone; shopping for all the mission clothing and required items to take to the Philippines; moving from Provo back to home; attending the Columbia River Temple; and speaking at church. We had lots of love and support from family and friends who came to Tyler's farewell and/or attended the temple with him. It was a very special time.
August 18, 2012
Columbia River Temple
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Tyler with his brothers and cousins: future missionaries
Grandma and Grandpa Bowers
Grandma and Grandpa Child
Our family on the temple grounds
On the morning of Wednesday, August 28th, our family drove to the Pasco Airport to bid Tyler farewell. It was strange to think we would not see him for two years. Typically, I'm not very emotional, but I did shed a few tears in those final moments before he went through airport security. I hugged him tight and told him I loved him. It was a bittersweet experience for me -- I'm so proud of Tyler for choosing to serve a mission, giving up two years of his life to serve and teach and love the people in the Philippines. At the same time, I almost didn't want him to leave us.
Big brother, little brother
Big brother, little sister
Older brother, younger (but taller) brother
Dad and son
Mom and son
He looked confident and happy.
What more could a mother want?
He's ready to go and serve the Lord with his whole heart.