Into the MTC she goes

Schwester Peck (on the left).

Schwester Peck (on the left).

It was over six years ago that I posted about dropping off my youngest son at the MTC for his mission to Finland. Today I dropped off my daughter for hers to Berlin, Germany. She follows her four brothers who did the same. She was so scared, yet excited and determined. She is one of the most courageous woman I know. I bought for her a set of Ashmae’s Brave Women Cards and one of them was left intentionally blank and says “You belong here.” That is true of Emily.

Why do we do this? She is leaving behind thirteen years of dance. A boyfriend. Her family and friends. Why? I can’t answer, but she has always felt a call and said she would serve a mission. I’m proud of the person that she has become that moves her to do so. Last night we talked after she was set apart by our stake president. In her blessing she was invested with power. Commissioned to be a minister. She told me that she felt that power. She felt as though she was the equal of anyone out there in terms of what she could do. After a blessing rich with promises, our Stake President reminded her that at her farewell she mentioned Sam Brown’s modified story of the footprints in the sand (he said in his seven years as stake president she was the first one to quote Sam Brown, of whom he heartily approved—and I would add who should be much more widely quoted in missionary farewells and elsewhere. So read this. It had a profound influence on my daughter). He reiterated how there would never be one set of footprints, or even two, but scores—the footprints of multitudes. He reminded her that many were with her who would lift and support her through this adventure. The words I said of my son six years ago seem fitting and so I say of her:

As I watch [her] go, I toy with the thought that my [daughter] begins a kind of archetypal hero’s journey. [She] goes into the forest alone and unrecognized. I hope [she] finds helping spirits and kind strangers on the way—as the tales suggest [she] should. I hope [she] destroys the demons and monsters that will rise to oppose [her] and that in the end [she] obtains the treasures [she] seeks. I pray [her] true nature will be revealed and [she] returns at journey’s end to claim the kingdom.

I’m afraid though. My breath feels drained and uncertain. I know that it does not always end like it does in fairytales. I’m confronted with fear because I know monsters are real and dangerous. We’ve provisioned [her] as best we can, but now [she] must journey on without us. Alone.

But unexpectedly, as I continue to watch [her] go, I’m transfused with hope. I remember [she] is not alone. That you all are there. That there are helping hands on this and the other side of the veil. And that no matter what happens, in success or failure, [she] will be loved. [She] is a hero already. Of course.


  1. Coby Vail says:

    Thank you for the wonderful thoughts! My sister entered the MTC today and is headed to the Germany Berlin mission as well.

  2. Sending my love and prayers along with her.

    And yes, more people should quote Sam Brown. That book is stunning.

  3. Godspeed. She’s going to be amazing.

  4. Kathy Awbrey says:

    I’m sure she feels the love of all of her family. I’m proud, yet apprehensive for her. I hope she knows that she will be in my prayers every night.

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    She’s my hero! Godspeed to her.

  6. Moses Parkinson says:

    She is going to have so many years of spiritual advantages. She will love it.

  7. If they ever bring sisters back to Kiel, I’ll be watching out for a Sister Peck and a Sister Vail. :-) I think they’ll both love Germany.

  8. I’m excited for her (and Sister Vail), though also relieved it’s not me in the trenches. My thumbs are pressed for happy outcomes!

  9. Best of luck to her.

  10. Lovely. She’ll do great.

  11. Lovely and powerful.

  12. This is making me nostalgic for that incredible difficulty which luckily also comes with a lot of joy and beauty that was my mission. She’s lucky to have you.

%d bloggers like this: