We did not get an email from Parker this week since he had the opportunity on Tuesday the 12th to go one last time to the Sacramento temple with his District. We as a family knew this would be the case since we got to Face Time with him on Sunday for Mother's day.
Our visit with him on Sunday was wonderful! How could it not be? Right? The time flew by and felt like only a couple of minutes when it was all said and done. Elder Albertson is doing fantastic! He is happy and healthy and loving every minute he has spent serving the people in the California Santa Rosa mission. We spoke to him about each area he had the opportunity to serve in and he had nothing but positive things to say. There were people, both investigators and members that have touched his heart in every area. These "Special" people have left their mark on Parker's life forever. How fortunate he is to be able to someday go back and see and visit the people there that he has grown to love so much.
Some of our conversation included what his plans and goals are for when he gets home. I could sense some apprehension in his voice as well as the expression on his face that he isn't really sure how he feels about getting thrown into the life of adulthood. He has a lot of big decisions to make in the near future and although he is apprehensive, he also knows that he will be guided in the decision making process, the same as he has been guided by the Holy Ghost, while on his mission.
It was so fun to hear Parker and Abe speak back and forth to each other in Spanish. I am still so amazed at how these young men learn these languages and can speak so fluently in such a short time. We are so grateful that Parker got to experience the Lord's hand in helping him to become the missionary he needed to be to do the work necessary.
One thing that people ask me a lot is if we are nervous to see him again because of how he might have changed. Will he be weird and awkward for awhile? I can honestly say with confidence that Parker is still our Parker. He still acts the same and jokes the same and uses the same innuendo's that he has always used. What is noticeably different is how his face has changed. He doesn't look like a little boy anymore and has taken on a more grown up, non baby face, chiseled appearance. I don't have a little boy anymore!! I am officially the mother of a "Man" Ugh!
Parker has also changed spiritually. We could see that in his expressions when he spoke about the people who have influenced him the most on his mission. You could see his sadness and concern when talking about his dear friend that he baptized in Santa Rosa who is struggling in the gospel right now. Those moments for a Mother are priceless and nothing can compare. You realize all at once that your child finally "gets" it. All on his own he understands the gift that the Gospel truly can bring to us all and his desire to share that becomes of utmost importance to them.
Our family cannot wait to see this young man again. We are literally counting down the days before we can wrap him up in our arms and welcome him home. His return will bring a much needed "positive" experience and distraction to us all. We can hardly stand how excited we all are.
Below are some pictures that were sent to me by Sister Souza. We had the privilege to meet her and these two darling little boys that have taken such a liking to Parker. The little guy was permanently attached to Parker 85% of the time we were Face timing with him.
Parker's little buddies!
Attached to the hip during our call! We LOVED it!
Last Family photo through the Computer!!