Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentines Homecoming

Valentines Evening this year was spent celebrating "LubLub"/Caleb/Elder Robinson returning from his honorable two year mission to Culiacan Mexico.  He left a punk and returned a man... just kidding... but in all seriousness, it is no joke when these nineteen year old boys are sent all over the world, to serve and share the life of Christ for 24 impressionable, sacraficing, and humbling months of their young lives.  I can think of no better maturing and growing experience than this.  Being the last of the brothers in our family to go, it was an exciting moment when he appeared at the top of the stairs of the airport... especially for our mom, who I think had held her breath since he had left hoping for his safety and success.  Can you imagine the worries a mother feels while her child is gone away for so long only able to call in a couple times a year, wondering if they're okay and fed?  But with Caleb's weekly emails, he shared his testimony and experiences with us, and reassured us (and surprised us too:) that all was well, and he was totally capable on his own.  We read as he transformed his life and spirit into greatness, molding himself and others into what God intends of all men, to rise and shine forth.  My favorite quality of a missionary, is their smile.  It just exudes happiness and joy.  What a glow Caleb had that night when we were all reunited, and what a special feeling of love filled the room where he hugged all the family members old, and new (babies and friends;) that greeted him with anticipation.   On Sunday the 27th he spoke in his ward reporting on his time spent in Mexico and two things impressed me most... the first was his call to the young men in the ward to get their lives in order, humble themselves and be ready to serve a mission for the Lord.  It was a very powerful moment and the hairs on my arms stood up when he passionately shared his testimony and love for the gospel in the Spanish language... by the way, how cool is it that two years ago all he knew was hola, or chimichanga, and now he can carry on a conversation in fluent spanish... that is pretty dang awesome!  The other thing that impressed me was when his Bishop joked about those who remembered Caleb before his mission, or any young man for that matter, and how changed they are when they return... meaning it is possible for anyone to bring the spirit into their lives and fine upstanding men are all around us.  Since he's been home, he has relaxed right back into his role as little brother... stealing drinks of my water, laughing at my jokes, squeezing my love handles, but he also stands a little taller, and that is the most fantastic part of it all.  He shares stories from his mission (some mighty frightening) and we can see the journey he has been on.  We are all so proud of him and excited to watch the next chapter unfold in his life!