Thursday, April 10, 2014

Selwin's Week Before the MTC

Today Elder Selwin Lovell went into the Missionary Training Center in Provo.  It has been a very busy week leading up to Wednesday, April 9. 

On Sunday, March 30, we threw him a little "going away" party inviting ward members to come for punch and cookies following his well-prepared and powerful talk in Sacrament meeting which Brother Sappington called "a grand slam" (a baseball term describing a home run with bases loaded). 

On Thursday, April 3, Selwin and I attended the St. George Temple together where he performed the baptisms and initiatories for four of his male relatives … then he served as proxy for the endowment of his grandfather Dennis Lovell.  It was a wonderful day! 

On Friday morning, President James Bown from the Bloomington Stake Presidency came to our home early in the morning to set Selwin apart as a full-time missionary.  Bishop Bair and his family also came.  It was a beautiful experience.  This young man is well loved by the members of our ward, all who are anxious to support him in the mission field.  

Following this spiritual gathering, we loaded up the car and headed to Provo for the West Indies Mission Reunion (see pictures at  Selwin probably didn’t know most of the 80-90 attendees, but those he did know greeted him warmly, including our mission president Claude Gamiette, who is now serving as a Caribbean area seventy (coincidentally, we met him at Deseret Book in Salt Lake the next day).

On Saturday, April 5, we traveled by Trax Train from Provo to downtown Salt Lake City to attend the morning session of General Conference in the 21,000 seat Conference Center.  Saturday evening, Selwin attended the Priesthood session with “Brother Ed” Sappington.  On Sunday, April 6 we returned for the 5th - and final - session.  When asked how he enjoyed General Conference, his response was, “it was awesome!”

On Monday, Selwin (almost) finished his shopping and enjoyed sightseeing in Salt Lake City.  Tuesday morning was spent at the Salt Lake Temple where he was proxy for another family member.  The Salt Lake Temple, which is absolutely GLORIOUS in its pioneer splendor, is one of only 1-2 of the church’s 142 operating temples still doing a “live” session.  It was well done, but most of us are used to the movie version.  In the evening, we collected Lilly and went to the movies.  Lilly and Grandma Linda saw “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” while Selwin and Ed saw “Captain America.”

Tuesday at 1 p.m., our second Guyanese missionary was met at the curb in front of the MTC by a host who gave us a minute to say our goodbyes, take pictures and wipe away the tears, then whisked Selwin away.

He is such a great young man who will be an outstanding missionary and make an amazing difference for the church in Mississippi.  I will miss him!

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