Well Elder Duffus has been gone for a week now and it has flown by lol, not really. I think as a mum the first week is the hardest, as we didn't know when he would be able to email us and as the days go by you keep checking more and more.
We will catch you up on the last couple of weeks first though. We has a farewell party and want to thank everyone that was able to attend to wish him well as he finished getting ready to leave. He had a great time as there were only a couple of speeches and then it was just about the food and playing volleyball and basketball (his favourite past times).
The following Saturday night we had our family Christmas, so he wouldn't miss out on his Christmas dinner. It also means that he didnt really miss this Christmas and he will only miss next year (thats my plan and I'm sticking to it lol). We had a great night and there were plenty of family and friends that came to share in the night.
I think his favourite times though was going to the temple lights each Sunday night and meeting up with friends.
As a surprise for the family Scott and I organised his older brother, Matthew, to come home, from BYU Hawaii, for Christmas, his setting apart and to spend a few days with Brendan prior to him leaving. Whilst it was a surprise for most people, Brendan actually found out the night before Matt was due to come in!! It was still a great for the brothers to spend that time together. Scotts parents were also able to come up and spend some time with Brendan before he left.
It was a pretty teary time when we headed down to the chapel, for Brendan to get set apart as a missionary, of course most of the tears were mine. The picture below is of him and one of his favourite girls, who is going to miss him. Her mum told me that last sunday she saw Elder Duffus' picture on the missionary board and as the kids ran past she put her arms out and said 'No, my Brendan', we all thought this was so cute.
We headed for the airport bright and early on the 20th to hit the traffic and making the journey longer than planned, but we made it with plenty of time to spare. On the way down I happened to ask the now Elder Duffus if he had packed his scriptures - of course not, luckily Scott was in the other car and hadnt left Penrith so was able to go home and get them. All booked in at the airport with his bag just over the allowed weight, so hopefully he doesnt have too much more to take with him. There were another 4 missionaries leaving as well so the departure gate was very very busy. We were all a bit teary when he started saying his goodbyes but the thing that broke the dam wall was Matt and some of the other boys started singing Called to Serve Him, oh boy I was gone the tears were flowing from us all, but it was an amazing spirit there and a fantastic
way to send him off.
Looking forward to his first email home.
Scott and Jene xx