I realize that I have not posted an update on sister von Mayer for some time. A lot has happened and God continues to bless and protect our family. I will try to keep things in order as much as possible.
Entering the Field
The adversary is hard at work in the von Mayer family. When Kayrin first entered the field from the MTC she was struggling. The adversary gave her the gift of nightmares, her worst fears in the form of nightmares.
Karyin told her companion about the nightmares and their subject matter; she even mentioned that she wanted to come home and did not feel like a missionary because of these awful nightmares. Her companion told her to wait until the next zone meeting and ask for a blessing. Fortunately, because we are able to talk to our missionaries on a weekly basis Kayrin also told me of the events that were happening and how awful she felt.
In her tearful state I reminded her that zone leaders are not the only ones who hold the priesthood and she could ask anyone who has the authority to give a blessing for a blessing. I also reminded her that her companion is her age, she too is also learning to adult and she does not yet know everything. After we finished the phone, less than a half hour later I received this text:
Chatting with Family
I really wanted to make sure to make Kayrin smile on our next chat so I decided to add some company! I did not tell my dad that we would add him to the call but boy did we get a bigger laugh than we thought. We had so much fun chatting and laugh so hard. What made it funny? See for yourself:
I don’t know if they just cannot see what is on their phone or if they don’t know how to hold it where they are not close enough we can see the pores on their face. We can even see up Emma’s NOSE on the left! Most of the conversation with grandpa was really a conversation with the top of his head! Gotta love the rents!
We thought it was funny enough that I decided we all needed to squish up to the camera so we could be like them. Kayrin ended the call on a super happy note setting a good tone for the week.
New Way to Count
My mom came to town the weekend before my birthday and bought me a solar flower. I never really noticed them but I love them! I love them so much that I decided to start a new way to count the months Kayrin is away. I plan on placing a new solar flower in our rock mess for every month Kayrin successfully serves in the field. My mom purchased my first flower, Jo and Kayrin love them too.
This month’s flower goes out in a week!
I was very surprised when my phone rang on my birthday and my beautify missionary was on the other end. She was so happy and had a lot to talk about. She even reported her first investigator.
Kayrin told me how her and her companion thought they were going to go pick up their bikes so that they could ride them to their next appointment. However, when they got to the bikes they noticed that one of the tires were flat and they were not going to be able to ride.
During their walk to the next appointment they met a woman on the streets who was blissfully unaware of the gospel and the Book of Mormon. The sisters were able to bare testimony and set an appointment to meet with her again. Kayrin was beaming with delight. I loved seeing her so happy.
I was having trouble sleeping last night and then I received a text from a number I did not have programed in. To my delightful surprise this picture was on the other end from a sister in Utah who was kind enough to send it to me. Thank you Diane!!
Regardless of the trials and burdens we are faced with while Sister von Mayer is on her mission, I know that the Lord is taking care of us. I am thankful that we have been given the privilege to allow our daughter to serve the Lord. I will endure anything to serve the Lord and allow my children to serve him as well.
I cannot remember if it was before or after Kayrin’s nightmares but one day Mr. von Mayer called me very light heartedly to tell me a story of what was going on. He calls and the call goes something like this:
Hey wifey, I have a story for you. I was holding a pencil in my mouth at my desk and it fell out. So I put the pencil back in my mouth and it fell out again. After doing some research I thought it would be best to go to the hospital, so now I am on my way to the VA hospital. Nothing to worry about, I will keep you posted.
With his light hearted story I was not to concerned but I was suspicious. Right away I thought, it could be a mini stroke. Less than 30 minutes later I get another phone call from Bill explaining that the VA hospital he went to did not service “new” patients. Excuse me? Again, light heartedly, he explains that he was driving himself to another VA hospital that was 30 minutes away. I told him to call me when he got there.
He sends me a text message asking for Johanna’s social security number and was filling out paperwork. I supposed the VA hospital was not too concerned of what was happening so…I provided the information and shortly after I get another light hearted phone call:
Hey wifey, they are sending me over to St. Louis University Hospital, can you come get my car? I parked it on the street but you can wait if you want, I paid for it to be there for three hours.
Then the panic starts in…why are they sending you to another hospital? Bill explained they did not treat stroke at that facility. Fortunately, STLU was just down the street. Everyone at the hospital was very confident that he was having a stroke and administered tPA meds to help get oxygen back to the brain.
Bill ended up staying the night in the hospital with restrictions to the bed. He was not even allowed to get up to pee because of the medication. I waited until the next day to return to the hospital with the kids in hopes of bringing him home.
Before I could pick up the kids from school Bill called me again. The doctor did an MRI to discover that Bill did not have a stroke but that he has Bell’s Palsy. Bell’s Palsy is often misdiagnosed as a stroke.
Bill still had to stay in the hospital because of the medication but as soon as the 24 hours expired he was released to come home. He took it lightly giving himself the new nickname of Popeye.
Bill has almost all of the use back in the right side of his face. He is happy to have his wrinkles back on his forehead and is able to almost smile completely again. The Bell’s Palsy has been more of annoyance than anything, but we are thankful.
My Testimony and Take Away
I know that Heavenly Father truly played a part in this trial. This could have been so much more than what it was. In addition to Bill not having a stroke, Bill was able to go through the VA so our cost for his hospital stay may be minimal.
The Lord is taking care of this family 100% and he is carrying the burdens we are enduring making them light. I love the gospel and am grateful that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
This week Kayrin left the MTC on Tuesday so there will probably be no phone call this week. I suspect that her P-day has changed to Monday and I am looking forward to hearing from her then.
Family at the MTC
Kayrin is breaking the rules again, as she was so excited to tell me that she found a family member at the MTC. She sent me a text message explaining that the sister, Sister Horner, she was on splits with at the MTC is her 9th cousin removed. Then she sent a screen shot.
Found a Park
On the last call I had with Kayrin she mentioned that there was a Park 900 foot from her and she could not wait to see it. I figured there was a park on the MTC grounds, I did not think much about it. I told her that when she gets there to make sure she took a picture of her at the Park. Here is her picture at the Park:
Why Elder Parks?
Those of you in the family on my father’s side probably will understand. We are connected to the Parks line. So this is all exciting, right??? Well, I am sure Kayrin does not know that much about Elder Parks, maybe not even his first name. I will update this in a future post when I learn more about who Elder Parks is and where we are connected.
Last Day at MTC
One last day to break some rules right? I got these pictures from Kayrin on her last day at the MTC. These are all the missionaries in her district. I imagine since they are all going out at the same time they probably will not end up as companions for the next 18 months. I can only hope that Kayrin thought about trading contact information so that she can keep her new friends she made while training at the MTC.
Arriving at the Mission Home
I was surprised to receive an email from the Utah Provo mission secretary announcing her arrival. The message was short and sweet but had a great picture attached.
I cannot believe it has already been three weeks since Kayrin arrived in Utah. That is almost an entire MONTH! My spirit is calm and things are more comfortable than expected at home.
Lesson Learned This Week
One things that stood out to me this week in my scripture study is how important a mother’s influence truly is. The book of Ezra talks about how the people had to “put away” their wives and children of those wives because they were of a strange people. I did not really understand what it meant to be put away then I did not understand why the children were also put away.
To Put Away
After doing research and discussing with the sisters I study with I learned that when the people “put away” their wives it meant that they were expected to divorce their wives and children. When the men married the “strange women” the women were not converted and were allowed to teach the children to worship they did, including worshiping idols.
I taught Kayrin about Jesus Christ and God’s love. I overcame the guilt that washed over me the day Kayrin walked into the Clayborne’s house unable to identify who Jesus Christ was. Now Jesus Christ walks along side of her each day she is serving him on her mission.
The first week I did not receive any photos of Kayrin so I did not really know how she was doing. I finally got to speak with her on Thursday, we got to speak for an hour, made this momma happy.
Kayrin originally planned on calling while she was working out around 2pm, 3pm my time. I was excited when she called me at 9am! Of course it was not the most convenient but I was not missing my call! I went and hid in a conference room so I could give my undivided attention.
This picture of the scriptures and letter to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the very first picture Kayrin sent to me. I was excited and disappointed at the same time. When I finally got to talk to her I told her that a Kayrin head was missing.
Why the Letter
This letter is of great importance to Kayrin. She has changed her name from Harrison to von Mayer so that she could release the stress that was tied to the Harrison name. She was able to successfully change her name legally but realized that her Patriarchal Blessing still had the Harrison name that haunted her. After discussing with mentors at the MTC, Kayrin learned the process she needed to go through to get her name changed on the record. This letter is one of those steps, she explains her request to change her name and why.
I cannot believe how great she looks! She is so happy to be at the MTC and having this experience. She noted that her companion was struggling with the absence of her parents.
I found it funny that both Kayrin and I have been telling the same story. I have not been missing her too much because this is not the first time that we have been apart for more than a month. Now, if you ask us in a few months how we are and if she is homesick , it may be a different story. For now, Kayrin is doing fantastic and learning so much.
Favorite Thing at the MTC
Kayrin mentioned two things that she absolutely loves at the MTC, the first being the FOOD!! It almost sounded like I starved her or maybe she does not like my cooking. I know that is not the case. I am glad she is enjoying the food there.
Kayrin also loves the pictures at the MTC. She said that sometimes she will sit and examine the murals because they are so beautiful. She sent me several pictures of them.
Kayrin received two packages during her first week. She received a green package for St. Patrick’s day from one of the mom’s on the Missionary Momma’s Facebook page but was confused how her name got on this. She was very grateful for the jester, it helped her to settle in.
The second package was actually from her friend of five years who lives in Provo. She made it sound like he tried to break the rules and hand deliver it but she loves it nonetheless. She received a light fury. I don’t know how she is going to pack that thing around, but she is happy.
On her first P-Day Kayrin went with her group to the temple and I finally got my first Kayrin head photo! The funny part, she has so many new clothes and she choose to wear this dress. I originally ordered this dress for me but I look like a big easter egg in it. Kayrin loves this dress so much…so much so apparently, she wore it to her first temple trip in Utah.
Surprise Kayrin Head
Today, I received this AWESOME Kayrin Head picture. I just love how happy she is how she is thriving before even leaving the MTC.
I may not get as many Kayrin Head photos as I would like but I know Kayrin is doing the Lord’s work. With as much work as she doing and studying I am so proud of how quickly she is growing. I know that these rapid changes I see in Kayrin is because of the Lord’s influence in her life. I am thankful that we are able to send her on mission and she has this opportunity to grow and become an independent young woman.
I was not suppose to hear from my sweet missionary but I did!!!! Well kind of… When I spoke to her when she first arrived she did not know much and she also did not cover much in the email I got her.
First Rebel Offense
After church on Sunday I noticed that my Google Hangouts had a message waiting, usually I only use Hangouts during the week when texting husband during work hours (he is not allowed to have his phone out at work)… So I thought it was odd that there was a message waiting.
Kayrin and I did set up Hangouts on her phone before she left so that she could video call me through there because we did not think Skype would be allowed. Even after she “missionaried” her phone she was still able to download and use the app so we thought all was well…
The message was from MY MISSIONARY!!! Of course, otherwise why would I be writing this right? She sent the following at 1:44 my time:
“Hey mom, just texting you to say you should get Skype because I’m not allowed to be on Hangouts at the MTC.
PDay is Thursday btw
I responded anyway telling her that I have Skype.
Thinking that maybe I could help her out I logged into Skype.
Second Rebel Offense
I thought it was funny that she sent me a text on Hangouts when she was not suppose to use it. I log into Skype and THERE IS MORE!!! She already found me! I was so excited that she found me so I sent her a text (rebel mommy too!).
Sister von Mayer replied to my text!! With a button pusher thumbs up! I asked if she knew when she could call and it was much longer!! She explained that she would be able to call while she was exercing. If she has breath to call while exercising I’m sure she is burning serious calories, but I don’t care I will take it!
Why Call When Exercising
Kayrin will be busy on her PDay as they are planning on attending the temple after working out and still has class in the afternoon. I told her I didn’t care what time she needed to call, I would drop everything just to hear from her and we could worry about getting the whole family on the line at a later time.
Kayrin then replies, “Okay, love you. I’m breaking the rules just to tell you my schedule, gtg love u.”
And she was gone just like that.
I truly believe that this time while Kayrin is absent is only going to be as big of a blessing as I allow it. I can choose to focus on the hard stuff or I can be in awe over the how we over come the hard stuff. The Lord can only bless us to the level that we allow, we must remain humble, keep our eyes open, and seek after the things that are of God. As we strive to service our fellow man. I love the Lord and I am thankful for the gospel in my life.
Kayrin was finally able to send me an email from the MTC. I have been on social media and everyone said that they had received an email the first day, but I had not. I was a little jealous so yesterday I called to verify she had actually made it to the MTC. She checked in at 1:48.
In Kayrin’s email she had mentioned that the flight was more stressful than she anticipated. There was a lot more turbulence on the plane than she was use to. She felt like it was necessary to pray that they would arrive in Salt Lake safely and was satisfied after she said a prayer.
When arriving in Salt Lake Kayrin called me. I still cannot figure out how she called since she did not have her phone. I will be sure to ask her about it. However, during the call she explained that she could not really see much from the airport window but just wanted me to know she had landed safely.
Shuttle to the MTC
Kayrin’s email was very well written. When she was finally able to get into the shuttle she noticed it was snowing but stated that it was no big deal, it was Utah after all. It already sounds like she has been there forever! Upon arriving at the MTC she seen the Provo temple and is so excited that it is right across the street. I hope she gets to go in!
As soon as the car pulled up and Kayrin got out of the car it was game on. The pulled her right to get her badge and schedule for training. She has been training since she got there.
Kayrin’s spirits are high and she is excited to be at the MTC and interacting with new people, probably people in general. Sister Monson (not sure what the relation is to President Thomas S. Monson) volunteers at the MTC so Kayrin is close to VIPs in the church.
I am a little said that I did not receive a picture like other have but I am so thankful that Kayrin sent an email last night. I have a testimony that her dedication to her mission will strengthen her for the challenges she will face in life. I know that with the long hours she will be working she will be greatly blessed.
We woke up at 4:45 AM to get Kayrin to airport in time. I cannot say it was a flawless drop off but I would say it was uneventful for the most part.
Husband and I drove separately so that he could go to work and I would bring back the kids. We took different routes which gave me a little anxiety, but not too much. I arrived with the girls about five minutes before Bill. However, I loaded Kayrin’s luggage into Bill’s car trusting him to bring in the luggage. Of course, when Bill and Derek came in they only had two of the THREE suitcases…sigh. Interestingly, this also did not spike my anxiety; probably because I made us leave about 15 – 30 minutes earlier than we really needed to.
Checking in her luggage was a little of hassle. The first bag was 48 lbs, good job Kayrin, the second bag was six lbs over. The attendant allowed us to take out six lbs of luggage and shove it into her carry-on. We got lucky because Kayrin actually packed an empty bag into the bag that was overweight; all we needed to do was put the overage poundage in the empty bag she had packed and shoved her purse in there and it was a done deal! Did you know a pair of jeans weighs one pound?!?
It was so fast…the line was short and ran pretty smoothly. I was the one to get in trouble. I missed the red line on the floor that said do not pass! LOL The security guard made me go back so I could barely see her going through the process. I stood there as long as I could before she disappeared into the crowd.
I was not leaving the airport until I knew her plane had taken off. Derek, Jo Jo, and I went to sit in front of the screens that had departures listed and I downloaded a flight tracker app. As soon as we sat down I received a message from Kayrin from google hangout just saying “Love you Mom <3,” made me smile.
Of course I followed the flight track! What momma wouldn’t? The plane did not crash and I got notification that her plane landed in Salt Lake. I did not receive a message when she landed, as I was hoping for. I am guessing I will get notification when she arrives at the MTC. I am sure she is super excited and anxious at the same time.
Yes, at the end of every post I am planning on writing a piece of my testimony. When we were saying out good-byes there were no tears. I believe this is because this is what Kayrin has been called to do. I know there will be many challenges during this time but I also know that as we, as a family push forward together and stick close to the gospel everything will be fantastic!
Kayrin is going to be GREAT!
Yesterday was a difficult day and emotions were running high. I left work early swimming in my emotions thinking about Kayrin leaving and how sad she seemed to be on Sunday. I knew she needed something to lift her spirit or a down right cry fest so…we cried, a lot.
We cried over everything. Kayrin was stressed so much that I felt like she was ignoring me when I got home. I finally made her stop in her tracks and talk to me. I asked her to pick up the main floor for when the Stake President came to the house to set her apart. She was also consumed in her fears. I reassured her that she is doing the right thing and that I am extremely proud of her decision to go on a mission.
Stake President’s Arrival
I feel like I failed at the president’s arrival. I was able to get through the gate but he came to the door through the garage and knocked. The dogs did not bark, fortunately, Johanna heard the knock and let him. He was able to navigate through the plantation and arrived with no major challenges.
Before Setting Apart
Before Kayrin was set apart President asked us about our family, how we like the new schedule, and then proceeded to ask each of us what we wanted to say to Kayrin or if we had forgotten anything.
Bill told Kayrin how proud he is that she has chosen to go on a mission. He noted how even though he was pushing for her to go into the military he believes that she made the right choice.
Derek noted that he believes that Kayrin is making the right choice to go. He understands that it is going to be hard at times but at no point does he believe that it will not be worth it.
Little Jo Jo did not really know what to say. She is sad that Kayrin is leaving but super excited for her.
I remember what I said the most, of course; mostly because I said things I have not been thinking about. I told her that I am extremely proud of her and that she will be awesome. I told her that she will learn a lot including what a worth young man looks like that would be marriage material. I explained that she is worthy and deserves to have great things, including a great husband; she just has to believe that she deserves a great husband. Weird, right?
This was more comforting than I could have ever imagined. The Stake President set her apart and gave her a blessing. President asked her full name and the exact name of mission she has been called to.
During the blessing Kayrin was promised a lot when she goes out. There were two things that comforted me the most: to be healthy and safe during the duration of her mission. For a mother to hear those words in a blessing calms the soul more than I could ever describe.
I am so proud that Kayrin has decided to serve a full-time mission. She is going to be an AWESOME missionary. Tomorrow her flight departs early in the morning and she will be arriving at the MTC by 3pm. I am excited to see how she will grow and change and what will become most important to her.
I know that the Lord answers our prayers, leads us, and guides us everyday that we will allow. I love the Lord and his Son. I know that they work in my life everyday. I know that we have a purpose on the earth and I believe as we continually study gospel principles we are able to better see the Lord’s work.
Tomorrow will mark Day 1 of Kayrin’s mission to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary. She is going to be GREAT.
Two days from Kayrin’s Departure and I am feeling it. Last night Kayrin and I were in her bedroom; she was trying to finalize her suitcase. I can see the stress on her face but she won’t admit it. I have to admit, I had no idea what this would feel like. She is my oldest leaving home. I have no idea how to comfort her, I have no idea what is going through her mind. It is driving me crazy; so much so that I did not sleep well last night.
It is pretty impressive how the adversary can get to you, even in the best of times. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that Kayrin will learn and grow during this 18 months that she will be away from home. Yet the adversary makes me think of things even past that, things that should be positive get turned to heartbreak. No matter how manipulating the adversary is, I know Kayrin and I are both stronger.
Spirit of Comfort
With the extra work I have been doing to improve my relationship with Heavenly Father I believe it is easier to feel the presence of the Spirit even when things are difficult. This weekend as we went to visit family so Kayrin could have her final “see-ya-laters” there were several opportunities for me to feel the Spirit.
The Cash Escape
My favorite time from this weekend was when I left my little dog with my grandmother so we could go to the mall. His name is Cash, and he escaped. Since I was no where to be found and he was in a panic; as soon as that door opened Cash darted out the door and started running…FAR FAR away. My grandmother calls me to tell me he escaped, she sounded so worried.
I reassured my grandmother that it would be fine and that this was not the first time Cash had run away from being scared. Once we arrived back at grandma’s house we started walking the streets and I felt like I needed to go get into the car. My youngest daughter, Jo Jo, and I jumped in and drove a block when I was prompted to pray. After saying a short humble prayer we turned the corner and seen Cash running full speed towards us down the road. It took him a minute to realize that it was me but once he did he wiggled and cried, jumped back in the car and we went back to the house. The search lasted all of 10 minutes before the little dog was found and all was good.
I realize that some may not connect the dots but this incident was the adversary trying to find something to make us upset and make this time more difficult. I know that my faith in my Heavenly Father is why we did not have to endure more challenges than what we are currently facing in telling Kayrin see-you-later for 18 months.
No Matter What
In my efforts to comfort myself I looked up where Kayrin would be staying for training (the picture at the top). I have to say…I think this picture gave me a little more anxiety, it is so big! I know Kayrin is going to have the time of her life and I cannot wait to see what is in store for her.
Kayrin received her call! She submitted her papers on December 1, for her birthday and after waiting two and half months, it is finally here!
On the way to work this morning I was listening to my scriptures and after I said my daily prayer while driving. We have been waiting so long that I finally verbally prayed that we would receive the call today and that Kayrin would be excited about where she is going.
Once I got to work everything was going as normal and I was getting a little slow needing a little boost. At 10:44 I received a text message from the bishop stating that Karyin had been assigned to a mission and that she should be receiving her call in the next day or two. At 10:50…Kayrin CALLS me to tell me she received a text message that links to the letter she is to open!
The phone conversation was short but emotional. Kayrin told me she received the text and that the message was in Spanish! So we are very hopeful that she is going foreign. I told her that we would open her call at 6pm so that Bill could get home. At the same time, we both were holding back tears of excitement.
After I hung up the phone my heart was/still is racing and I told everyone in my cubicle area at work that Kayrin received her call but still too excited to work I walked downstairs to the rest of my team and told them that Kayrin received her call. Standing there like a goofball I decided I should leave and told them thanks for listening. All of my coworkers are excited to find out where Kayrin will go but completely amazed of how a mission works.
I called to tell Bill and realized that he gets home early on Tuesdays so we actually get to open her letter at 4:30. I will be leaving work at 3:30 so that I can get home and find out where my daughter will be serving a mission for a year and half.
I am so proud that Kayrin has chosen to serve the Lord for a year and half. I know she will grow spiritually and emotionally. I cannot wait for what is in store for her. I will make another post this evening after she opens the letter to record my thoughts.