He first called from LAX and Mike and I got to talk to him for a wonderful hour. This mission has already transformed our son into an even more amazing man! He still has his wonderful wit and sense of humor!
His mission president personally dropped him off at the airport. Taylor said that was his hardest goodbye. President Weidman is an amazing man and has been Elder Chriss' biggest champion. I had the opportunity to speak with him on two different occasions and he always expressed his love for Elder Chriss and how much he would love to keep him in the California Los Angeles Mission.
Taylor made some amazing friends in Los Angeles; many that he will have for the rest of his life. He said that once he forgot about leaving and going to Argentina, it made all the difference in the world. So much so that when President Weidman called him to tell him about his visa he was wondering, "Hmmm, I wonder why president would be calling me?!" The Los Angeles is not an easy mission in any way! He said there are a lot of hard hearts there and the rejection is horrible. He loved spending his time bringing families back together and teaching English to the sweet Latinos.
We talked a lot about how different it would be in Argentina. He feels so blessed that he was reassigned to a Spanish speaking mission. He feels great about the language, especially after training a new missionary. We laughed that once he is there he may not hear or speak English for quite some time, especially if he gets a non-English speaking companion. He is hoping he will pick up Castellano (the dialect spoken in Argentina) quickly.
In my second phone call from Atlanta, Elder Chriss had just had the last American food he would see for the next 16 months! He was at the airport with over 40 visa-waiters all headed to Argentina! Can you imagine what a fun flight that would be? He was not exactly looking forward to the 10 hour, over-night flight to Buenos Aires. It was going to be especially hard not being able to watch any movies!
Mike and I are so proud of our son!!! He has taken these last 8 months and made the most out of them! He will hit the ground running in Argentina! He is leaving Los Angeles a self-assured, confident missionary ready to serve!
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what Elder Chriss, along with thousands of others around the world are doing is an amazing work, bringing people to Jesus Christ and changing their lives forever!
Now I need to wipe away my tears and look forward to our next phone call on Christmas. How many shopping days left until Christmas?
Thank you so much for all your love and support of Elder Chriss! He said that he feels everyone's prayers. He also loves all the letters and emails and to keep them coming! He has always had amazing friends and roll models in his life. It is because of this great support system that Taylor is serving today!
Con Amore, Lisa!
|Saying goodbye to LA and his Oly buddy, Hermana Michelle Warner!|