I don't know when this is going to start feeling real. I'm not sure what I'm even feeling at the moment.
This afternoon my sister goes into the Missionary Training Center in Provo for three weeks before flying out to serve in the Indiana, Indianapolis mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We will not see her until January or February of 2014. I will be 25.
Nobody in my family has a doubt how wonderful a missionary Becca is going to be. She is patient, long-suffering, loving, diligent, faithful, and intelligent. I know there are a lot of stereotypes about Mormon missionaries (thank you Trey Parker and Matt Stone). Stereotypes usually exist for a reason, however negative, and there are definitely some missionaries who fit well within the stereotype. But for me, what we call "missionary work" is not about persuasion or numbers or anything like that. It is about intelligent, thinking people trying to share with the world what brings to their own personal lives the most happiness and peace. Regardless of the numbers, Becca will bring love, joy and peace into the lives of everybody she talks to. That is why she will be a phenomenal missionary.
My dad commented last night that Becca and I have spent more time with each other than anyone else has with either of us, and it's true. It's been different the past few years while we've been at college, but before that we shared a room our whole lives. We got our ears pierced together, our first phones together, even our drivers licences together (I was slow, don't mock me). She is 18 months younger than me, but has always been more of the big sister, the responsible, caring one we all look up to.
This is the start of some major shifting for my family. There is of course this, as well as my other sisters recent marriage, and three boys in a row who will be serving missions when they reach 19. That means that we will have someone in the mission field, that we will not be all together again, for seven years.
This is life, and it is okay that it is bitter-sweet. We will all miss Becca desperately, but that is nothing compared to the good she will be doing in Indiana. I admire and respect her for her decision to go on a mission, and I am not sure I would be able to do what she is about to do.
Really, it is not goodbye, it is good luck, be safe, we will see you soon.
And most of all, I love you.