Saturday, January 19, 2013

Farewell Elder CJ Holden!

 Last fall, I had mentioned that my immediate Holden family had some very BIG news!  Most of you know via Facebook and Instagram that my youngest brother, Christopher, will be serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  He will be serving in the Oslo, Norway mission where he will be speaking Norwegian! So cool!

Back in October, when my parents were here for my Mom's birthday weekend, we were able to Skype with my brother as he opened his call.  Lots of tears of joy were shed because we have a long line of Norwegian ancestry.  As my dad put it, "You get to go back home!"

Now, I realize that I probably should have formally announced this awhile ago because it has been an exciting process the whole way through, but I wanted to post about it when the time was right.  Since I am about to embark on my journey (solo - wish me luck!), up to Utah for my final farewells before he enters the Provo MTC; I have so many mixed emotions - many of which are pure peace and joy.  I know he will do great things!

Christopher is the type of guy who - when he sets goals for himself, he achieves them . . . almost effortlessly.  He is kind, supportive, easy to be around.  He is one of the good ones.

At 22 years old (older than most departing missionaries), I am confident that he will be great!  He achieved his college degree and knows that this is the next step that he needs to take in order to become the kind of person that he wants to be.  As the oldest and his only sister, I am beyond proud.

Last night (back in Rockford), after my brother was set-apart as a missionary (he's official!), my family and some friends got together for a final send-off.  Christopher won't get to see our sweet little niece for two years. She will be so big by the time he gets back! And maybe, just maybe . . . . he will have a new niece or nephew to add to the clan!

I want him to have a keepsake of the photos, letters, and memories that he collects over the next two years . . . so I started a Smash Book for him!  I tried to go with the most masculine one there was to be found.  I love the idea of being able to collect all of your little treasures along the way, and figured that this was the best way to go about it.

If you'd like to read weekly updates from Elder Holden's mission, he and I have started a blog about his experiences:

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