Today is the day….

Elder Canyon Jakson Hansen… It’s 100% official now. We dropped him off at the Missionary Training Center today at 1:00pm. 

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He had mixed emotions, he said. He was clearly sad to leave his sweet girlfriend, Carli Jo. 

I could tell that he was excited though too…and anxious. He didn’t get emotional (except, of course, when it came to Carli). He was very calm, cool, and collected. 

It will be so exciting to hear from him the experiences he has as he trains, and soon enters the field. He is eager, and he has a strong testimony, and a strong desire to serve his fellow man. I am beyond proud. 

I’ve written to him already. I’m excited to communicate with him in ways that we haven’t  yet had the opportunity to. Sometimes, through writing, one can really express themselves with a thoughtfulness that is sometimes impossible in other forms of communication. 

Here’s to two years! The countdown has begun!!! 🙂 

Emotions

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Of course, we are all excited for Canyon and for the adventure he’s about to embark on. We’re anxious about the challenges he’ll face, and have complete faith that he’ll overcome them with the Lord’s help, and with all the special gifts he has.

BUT… it would be silly to deny that there isn’t a sadness there too. I can’t help but feel that it’s a natural emotion for a parent to have with any child that leaves home for the first time. High school is over, and “real” life begins. It’s an arduous journey to be sure. Sending a child away from home for the first time, knowing that he or she may not ever return to live with you again is an odd feeling. For so much of your own life, and for ALL of your child’s life, you’ve been the sole provider of every thing they’ve needed to survive… and thrive. Now they will go out, and begin a life built with the provisions they earn. Spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, or financial, they must develop them on their own. As parents, we hope we’ve given them enough tools to begin building that life. It leaves me feeling happy, and sad. Scared and hopeful. Faithful and timid.

In all my life, I have found no such conflicting emotions as those felt by a parent on behalf of their child. It is the complete collection of every opposing feeling imaginable. When those emotions become too much, for me at least, that’s when the tears fall. It’s not so much a sadness, as it seems to be a feeling of confusion. I don’t really understand what I’m feeling because I’m feeling EVERYTHING!

I cannot even begin to imagine how Canyon is feeling.

When I was on the threshold of my adult life, it was an exhilarating, terrifying, AMAZING feeling. I hope that is what he’s feeling. I hope he is as eager and excited as he seems.

His excitement buoys me up… To know that he is so eager to do the Lord’s work, and bless the lives of others through his love of service to others warms my heart. I am proud of him.

So I will let my tears fall in private. I do not want him to see my cry. I don’t want him to be confused by the emotion that tears clearly convey. Honestly… I am excited for him, and I know the Lord’s Army is gaining a powerful soldier – my boy.

My boy who is now an amazing man.

Elder Hansen Leaves in 10 Days!

In 10 days, my son Canyon Jakson will be leaving the life he’s known for the last 19 years to serve the Lord and the people living in and around Omaha, Nebraska.

He’s very excited.

I mean it too. I was worried that with a girlfriend he cares very much for, and an active extracurricular high school (and post-high school) life, he might find himself sad, or perhaps…dreading the idea of leaving for two years.

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However, he’s very excited and even anxious.

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I’m pretty proud of him. I’ve always been. He’s an exceptional young man with a powerful testimony. He has an ability to express his love for the Savior in ways that can marvel even the most knowledgeable member of the LDS Church. He always has. Even when he was a small child, he had a gift and nearly everyone who met him could see the Lord’s light radiating from him.

Of course, I can’t lie. It wasn’t an easy ride for any of us. His teen years were difficult – as they always are. He struggled with making choices that would ultimately break his heart. Not mine. His. However, he had been taught from a young age that no mistake EVER could alter the indescribable love His Savior had for him. Because he KNEW this, he chose to overcome the temptations he struggled with and persevere through a most difficult time in his life.

I think more than anything, he’s actually excited to be out on his own. While he understands that he’s not on his own REALLY, he is excited at the thought of living in a place where his parents aren’t breathing down his neck all the time. I believe that he understands that there will be intense, vital, mandatory structure and discipline he must learn quickly in the coming months, but he is up to the task. When choosing to pursue something important to him, he is a very dedicated, hard worker. I am so excited to see him succeed. More than that, I’m looking forward to seeing what he learns from his failures. There will be many, and his heart will be broken… this will break my heart as well. Luckily I have learned time and time again that the Lord delivers His greatest blessings through the trials He sends to us. Canyon’s blessings will be marvelous indeed and my heart leaps with joy for what he will experience.

While he isn’t able to communicate with anyone but immediate family for the next two years, I thought it might be fun to keep everyone posted, generally, through this blog. It will be fun for me to think about and ponder the moments, thoughts, and testimony he shares and be able to share it with those who love him.

So… here’s to post #1. Ten days from now, he’ll be in the Lord’s hands completely.

Post #2 will probably be indecipherable… I won’t be able to type through the tears! (I can be happy about it now…but c’mon! When I actually drop him off??? I might cry a bit!)