Tonight was a lovely evening with Lani. It started off by us having our last supper as a family with everyone around our table. Who knows when that will happen again with Lani going on her mission and our other children that are in the coming and going years coming and going. One of Lani's favourite meals is crepes and her father spoilt her by making a bunch and us having every thing you possibly think of as toppings.
We have a family tradition that when our kids have done something special that they get to eat off the red plate. The red plate says "You are special today." So Lani got a red plate mea,l as your last dinner with your family for 18 months makes you special.
After our meal we met the stake president for Lani to be set apart. This is another one of those terms that us Mormons use. To be set apart means that someone with priesthood authority puts their hands on your head and gives you the keys and authority to administer your responsibility in the church. Missionaries are set apart by a stake president. He can invite others to join him.
This term to me has great meaning. To be set apart meant to be chosen. To be set apart from the world to be used as a tool in the Lord's hands. To work as a team with him to assist God's children in reaching their full potential. To fully accomplish this takes prayer, study of divine writings and listening for those small whisperings from the spirit.
Last night we ( Lani, her Dad, Mum, siblings and grandfather.) met with President Hill. He planned with Lani how the meeting would evolve. She asked for Cassie to offer an opening prayer. Then he asked for Lorne and I to bear our testimonies. (The testimony will be an explanation is for another post.) Cassie's prayer was sweet and pure and invited the spirit. Lorne and I both had a hard time truly expressing to our children how we feel about the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives as we choked back tears. Then Pres. Hill invited Lani's father and grandfather to join him in setting her apart.
What a wonderful blessing she received. She was blessed with safety. Which calms my mommy heart. To be able to discern the spirit and know who wants to be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. She would be able to learn her language. That he would make friends while she is serving. That she would rise as a capable leader and many other things. To me these blessings feel like our Heavenly Father is communicating with us through worthy priesthood holders and telling us the things he would say if he were physically with us. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father that loves us enough to provide a means that he can communicate with us even though he can't be with us physically at this time.
The spirit was felt by all in the room. I don't know that anyone didn't have a dry eye in the room. Especially Karissa that was invited to close the meeting with prayer.
We then came home and had some special time telling Lani how much we love her and how much we will miss her. Elizabeth offered a family prayer in her language that is soon to become the language of Lani's mission. She told Heavenly Father how much she loves and will miss her big sister as she flies away tomorrow to what seems to her little sister as forever.