Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Elder Weller's First Dinner Appointment in the States

Plus a picture!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
(Same day as flight back to the US)

Elder Weller had dinner with the Morrow family and Sister Morrow was good enough to send this picture to me.  I was so grateful for it.  She said that Elder Weller "was very well behaved and had excellent table manners."  Well of course he did, his mother taught him.  (Huge grin!)  The elder holding the Book of Mormon is Jared's new companion.  The one Jared is sitting next to is the elder who he is replacing.  This elder is going home.  

Monday is P-day in Elder Weller's mission so we won't hear from him until next week.  UGH!!!  

Home Sweet Home...Well, Almost

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014 Elder Weller flew from Mexico City to the Dallas Fort Worth airport and then to Salt Lake City.  I stalked him again.  I am so glad to have him back in the states.  It has been almost a week since we have heard from him.  

Last Week in Paradise!

Subject: Last week in Paradise!
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 12:23:06 -0600

Dear family,
     HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!  I hope it went well!  How old are you now? 29?
     I am so glad to hear that everyone is doing well!  I have had a great week, I don´t even know where to start!  The past few weeks have just been a blur.
     On Tuesday, we had a devotional by a local general authority.  He told a really cool analogy about a man who was walking through a cornfield, trying to find the biggest ear of corn.  He would find a really big one, but then he would leave it in hopes of finding a bigger one.  By the time he got to the end of the cornfield, he was empty handed.  I interpreted this analogy as meaning that we need to count our blessings, whether big or small, so that when we reach the end of the cornfield, we will realize just how much the Lord has blessed us.  Also on Tuesday, our district played baseball with a tennis racquet and a whiffle ball.  It was quite an interesting experience, but we had a lot of fun.
     On Wednesday, we walk into the lifting gym for Gym time, and there is a bunch of brand new equipment!  Needless to say, we have been frequenting that gym a lot more this week.
     On Thursday, we had TRC again.  We got to teach 2 lessons this time, on receiving revelation through the Book of Mormon.  The second lesson we taught was to a lady and her son (he had some kind of mental disability) who were craftsmen by trade.  They showed us some plates that they had made from silver and copper.  One had the SLC temple on it,  They were so cool!  And I feel like I am becoming more comfortable with speaking Spanish.  
     Friday was Elder Tolman´s birthday,  Our whole district got him a whole bunch of candy and snacks from the Tienda.  He is still working on getting rid of it!  One of our teachers joined in the fun, and bought us Mini Mamuts, which are graham cracker and marshmallow covered in chocolate.  It´s just like a s´more!  
     Saturday evening, Elder Peters (the poet) shared several of his poems with us, including some which were VERY personal to him, about trials that he has gone through and overcome with the help of Jesus Christ.  He is leaving for the field tonight!  I will miss him.
     Sunday was awesome, as always!  We had testimony meeting, and I shared mine (in Spanish, of course).  We also fasted from lunch on Saturday to lunch on Sunday, which was really different for me.  The devotional that afternoon was one by Elder Bednar, on how to be a better Preach My Gospel missionary.  One thing that he said is that for those who wonder if they have been completely forgiven of past sins, the best confirmation is that you will feel the Holy Ghost, because it can´t dwell in unholy temples.  This was really comforting to me, because I have been feeling the Holy Ghost a lot this week, especially during lessons with our "investigators".  Saturday was especially profound.  I just kept feeling impressions to say or read something.  It was amazing!  Sunday evening, we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional from Salt Lake.  Did you guys watch it?  Elder Christofferson told the story of a boy in West Jordan who had a severe case of leukemia, and they knew he would not live to see Halloween, his birthday, or Christmas.  His stake and neighbors put together a week of celebration, where they celebrated each of these in a week for this boy.  He then passed away three days later.  The music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square was amazing as well.  It really got me into the Christmas spirit.  That afternoon, we had choir practice.  We couldn´t do it in the auditorium that day, so all 36 of us crowded into our choir director´s apartment.  We are singing several songs, including "This is the Christ", "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and the EFY version of ¨"Nearer My God To Thee".  This one is right in my range, so I was just belting it out!  We were so loud in that tiny room, and the Spirit was SO strong!
     Yesterday, they restocked the Tienda with Durazno (peach) juice.  This stuff is the best, so we stocked up on about 20 bottles between the 4 of us.  That afternoon, Elder Hamilton was telling me about how his plan to get fat off of Durazno juice was "coming to fruition".  This pun was completely unintended! After dinner, we watched our teacher, Hermano Sanchez, play the piano for a while.  He is really good!  Also, apparently, the hill/small mountain next to the CCM was on fire around dinner time.  I never saw it, but we could definitely smell it for a while.  I bet it was caused by a firework.  We have been hearing a lot of them lately.  I don´t know why.  But that´s Mexico for you!
  Guess what I did this morning!  I got my hair cut!  It is REALLY short, but it looks good.  I will send a picture sometime.  I also got my flight itinerary this morning.  I will be leaving the CCM at 2:30 next Tuesday morning.  I am so excited to get into the field, and to back in the States, but at the same time, I will really miss the CCM and the friends I´ve made here.  By the way, Elder Hamilton and I took a selfie last night with the head cook, Estaban.  He really likes us.
     I believe that is about everything.  The weather has been awesome here!  Yesterday afternoon, we were outside in the sun, and it was HOT!  Mom, I haven´t gotten tired of the food yet (at least not most of it).  Tonight is Costco pizza night, which I am always excited for!  Elder Hamilton and I are getting along really well now, which has been an answer to my prayers.  I have noticed a lot of those lately.  I guess it´s a result of my becoming more in tune with the Spirit.  Seriously, my testimony has grown leaps and bounds in the past 5 weeks!  I know that Christ is my Savior, and that he loves each and every one of us.  On Saturday, we went outside for class, and read 3 Nephi 11.  Our teacher then had us close our eyes and imagine that we were there, meeting the Savior in person.  It was such a cool experience!  I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I have been reading out of Mosiah and Alma this week, and it is cool to see how the people were blessed and prospered when they were obedient.  I know that our family has been greatly blessed, especially in the past month.  I love all of you!  I probably won´t be able to write next week, since I will be on a plane.  But I will write you the next week, and then it will be Christmas!  I love you all, and may you always have the Holy Ghost with you! 
Elder Weller

One Month Down, 23 To Go!

Subject: 1 month down, 23 to go!
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2014 12:17:11 -0600

Buenos dias por la Ciudad de Mexico!
(Good morning from Mexico City!)
     I am so glad to hear that everyone is doing well!  Mom, thank you for the pics.  I can´t believe that it snowed AND flooded at the same time!  I have also been keeping an eye on the weather in Snohomish, and in Utah, every time we come to the computer lab for TALL.  It has been really warm and sunny during the day here (and it is December!) but it gets pretty chilly at night.  One morning, there was even a little bit of frost on the grass, so we asked our teacher how to say "frosty".  He said congelado, but we all thought he said "con helado", which means "with ice cream"!  He had to write it on the board before we understood!  And by the way, I´m okay with you posting my emails.  Shaney, we saw the gift video in class the other day, and it is awesome!  We also watched one called ¨"Because of Him".  It is SO wonderful!  And Ryan, you can have my bow and arrows, but they are a little rusty.  
     Life here is great!  I can´t believe that I´ve been here a month already!  Last Wednesday we got a new district in our zone.  A few of them are serving in Vancouver, WA.  We are also saying goodbye to our old zone leaders today, which is pretty sad.  They are serving in Des Moines, Iowa.  I will tell them to keep an eye out for Elder Dickson!
     Thanksgiving was awesome here!  In the morning, we watched a live devotional in Provo given by Elder Bednar.  He decided to do a Q&A session.  In Provo, they handed out cell phones, so people could text questions to him, and here, they handed out note cards so we could write our questions, and then they emailed them directly to Elder Bednar.  My question wasn´t answered, but the Spirit was SO strong.  After the Devotional, we went to lunch.  The tables were all covered in tablecloths, and they served us a wonderful Thankgiving meal on REAL dishes.  Yes, Mom, we did have turkey, and it was delicious!  We also had mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, green beans, and apple pie with ice cream.  The rest of the day was a normal schedule.
     Sunday was great, as it always is here.  In our leadership meeting, our branch president, President Martineau, talked about how Nephi struggled just like everyone else does, in 2 Nephi 2.  However, Nephi then remembered how the Lord had helped him in the past, and he gained strength from that.  Our Sunday devotional was one by Elder Holland.  He speaks SO powerfully!  He literally commanded us that we need to have at least one convert on our missions, and that had better be ourselves.  He also told us that we need to be better missionaries than anyone before us (except the Savior, of course).  Sunday evening, we watched videos about the history of sister missionaries, "Just a Stonecutter" (a stonecutter who walked 44 miles a week to work on the SLC temple, even after having his leg amputated), and one about the crucifixion.  I always feel the Spirit so strongly during these videos, and during our district testimony meetings afterward.
     Last week, I read the parable of the vineyard in Jacob 5.  At the end of the parable, where the Lord of the vineyard calls his servants to help, I realized that those servants are not just the prophets, as I thought before, but they are missionaries!  Then, it talks about how the servants were blessed for keeping the commandments and being diligent.  I am so excited for the opportunity to labor in the Lord´s vineyard.  It´s hard to believe that I will be back in Salt Lake in 2 weeks!  I am excited to teach real investigators.  It´s just not the same when you are teaching your teachers or other missionaries.
     Yesterday, we started teaching others in our district, who made investigator profiles for themselves, based on people they know.  Elder Hamilton and I taught a couple sisters the Plan of Salvation.  One of their  characters was an Atheist though, so she kept asking really hard questions, such as "how do you know that God exists?", which are really difficult to answer in English let alone is Spanish.  But we just kept bearing our testimonies of prayer and of the Holy Ghost whenever we couldn´t quite answer a question.  Overall, I think it went pretty well, although I realized that I need a lot more practice speaking Spanish.  I can read and write well, but my mouth still has a hard time forming words.  
     One of the sisters in my district thinks that I go out cage fighting every night, because whenever my companion is being annoying, I try to be patient with him.  I play along with it.  Haha!  Elder Hamilton and I have had our ups and downs the past few weeks, since we are very different people.  But I am praying for more patience and love for him.  I have noticed huge improvements in my prayers since I´ve been here.  I am praying a lot more for others, and I am trying to be more thankful.
     I think that just about wraps this week up!  Time is flying by so quickly now.  I am so excited to get out into the field.  I am so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ, and for the opportunity to serve Him by bringing His beloved children back to the fold.  I know that I have been called by a prophet of God, and that He has prepared people in Salt Lake specifically for me to teach.  My testimony has grown so much in the past month, and my love for the Savior has grown immensely.
Para siempre Dios este con vos! (God be with you forever)
Elder Weller


Subject: Halfway!
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:56:15 -0600

Buenas tardes familia,
     This week just flew by!  I can´t believe that I am already halfway through my stay here!

Well, this morning, we went to the Visitor Center at the temple.  It is SO beautiful.  They have a Christus statue that faces the street, and the whole building is decorated so well.  The temple is also really beautiful.  I will send pictures when I can.  They are starting to put the Christmas lights up there, which is kind of funny, because it is really sunny and about 75 degrees today.  I bought some things at the bookstore there, including really cool scripture cases, a traditional Mexican backpack, and some presents!  I will send them when I get to Salt Lake.
     Guess what?!  I joined the MTC choir on Sunday!  On the 14th of December (my LAST Sunday here), we will be singing at the visitor´s center, so I will get to see the Christmas lights.  
     My language is improving a lot!  On Thursday, we did something called TRC (Teaching Resources Center), where we teach a lesson to someone that they invite to the MTC.  Elder Hamilton and I taught the most adorable old man, who has been a member for 20 years.  He was really impressed when we told him that we both have experience in Spanish.  He shared Isaiah 52:7 with us, which is the one that talks about how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who preach the gospel.  That is one of my favorite scriptures now!  

     Sunday was a really good day.  I blessed the sacrament AND gave a talk on the Apostasy, all in Spanish.  I was really nervous at the beginning of my talk, but I became more comfortable as it went on.  Speaking of, we saw our branch president at the visitor´s center today!  He is a lawyer for the church, so he was on his way to a meeting.  Anyway, we also watched a devotional given by Elder Holland a few years ago.  He is such a powerful speaker!  He talked about how we need to become converted before we can help others become converted.  He also reinforced the fact that we are teaching people, not lessons, so we need to learn about our investigators and about what they need, and base our lessons off of that.  Sunday evening, we watched 3 shorter videos instead of one long one.  We watched a clip that the church has put out that explains the garment.  They compare it to the religious clothing worn by other cultures.  I suggest that you guys watch it.  It´s on lds.org.  Then we watched the story of John Tanner, who gave his entire fortune to the church to help build the Kirtland Temple.  Then, we watched "Finding Faith in Christ", which is just a beautiful display of the miracles and love that Christ showed during His earthly ministry.  
     Now, let´s talk about food.  We had really good hamburgers on Friday or Saturday, and they serve really good sub sandwiches on Sunday mornings.  We also have really good enchiladas a lot.  The weirdest meal I´ve had here was probably lunch on Sunday.  We had enchiladas in mole sauce (mol-ay), which is basically chocolate mixed with peppers.  I don´t think any of us Americans really liked it.  The Tienda (store) has some pretty good stuff as well.  they have Kinder bars, which are kind of like Kit Kats, but better.  They also have Milch bars, which are really good, but I can´t explain exactly what they are.  Maybe I will send some home.

     My district and zone (there are 3 districts in my zone) are awesome!  Everyone has such a strong testimony, and we have all come to love each other,  One of the elders in our zone shared a poem with us last night that he wrote for a competition at home in Massachusetts.  It was about how the church is like a hospital, and although you feel sad or guilty or maybe awkward there sometimes, the feelings of peace and happiness far outweigh them.  It was also about how he wants to be remembered, not by his name, but by who he was, and what he did.  It was really creative and well written.  We have had some interesting conversations in our bedroom lately.  A few nights ago, we decided that Tarzan probably took place in Vietnam!  Haha!
     Apparently, I have really nice ties. I have gotten several compliments on several of them.  A couple of weeks ago, Elder Hamilton took two ties, cut them in half, and sewed two different halves together so that the knot is different from the rest of the tie.  I will have to send a picture sometime.  Also, tie trading parties are pretty big here among the Elders.  I haven´t participated in any though, because I like all of my ties!
     I believe that´s about everything.  All is going well.  The weather is beautiful, the people are great, and the Spirit is strong!  I hope everything is going well at home (especially you, Mom,  I will be praying for you:).  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ, and that His gospel has been fully restored in these the latter days.  I know that the Church is led by a prophet of God today, and that he holds all of the priesthood keys to guide the church.  I know that the message I have been called to share as a representative of Jesus Christ is true, and that it has brought, and will bring, peace to millions of Heavenly Father´s children.  I know that he has blessed our family in so many ways, especially in the past few weeks.  I love you all!
Elder Weller

p.s. Mom, all of my clothes should be clean.  Don´t worry about the ones under my bed.  Thank you for everything!

Another Fabulous Week in Paradise

Subject: Another fabulous week in paradise:)
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:02:38 -0600

Buenos dias familia!
     This week has flown by!  Tuesday evening we had a GIANT thunderstorm and it rained so much that the deep gutters here were full and there was probably about an inch of standing water on some the sidewalks and roads.  I´m so glad I brought my umbrella!  
     Elder Hamilton and I had our last lesson with "Alejandro" on Thursday, and we committed him to baptism.  Guess what!? He is now one of our teachers, Hermano (brother) Sanchez.  He is so funny!  He always slides across the tile floors like he is skating, and he writes in "Spanglish" (Spanish and English combined) a lot.  For example, he will write on the board "estudian from PMG"!  Now, both he and Hermano AguiƱiga are our investigators.  We have been getting better at being able to teach from our hearts rather than reading off a script.  My knowledge of the gospel vocabulary has improved dramatically!  Also, I am getting better at praying in Spanish.
     Last week, I had the opportunity to give a Priesthood blessing to one of the sisters in my district who was feeling sick.  It was an awesome experience!  A lot of people have been getting sick here in the past few days, but luckily, I´m perfectly healthy!
     Sunday was amazing.  We watched a devotional by Elder Bednar about how we need to look outward as Christ did, rather than being selfish and looking inward.  He talked about how even after Christ had gone through the Atonement, he was worried about something as simple as healing the guard´s ear, after Peter had cut it off.  Also, as he was being crucified, rather than feeling hatred for the people, he asked Heavenly Father to forgive them.  Elder Bednar compared the natural man to the Cookie Monster- "I want cookie! Give me cookie now!"  It was SO funny!  He also said something to the effect of "When you go looking for yourself, you won¨t find it.  But when you lose yourself in the work of the Lord, you will find yourself without looking for it."  I love that.  Later we watched "The Mountain of the Lord", which is awesome because that´s my mission!  By the way, if you look at 2 Nephi (or Nefi :) 12:2, which talks about how the house of the Lord will be established in the top of the mountains, start with the u in "mountains" and you will find the word Utah vertically!  I don´t know if that is a coincidence or not, but it is so cool!
     So hopefully next week, we will go to the temple visitor´s center.  We can´t go in the temple, because they are fixing it.  Apparently, the ground underneath it is sinking.  But I´m still excited to get out of this fortress and see Mexico City,  I´m not kidding when I call it a fortress.  We are surrounded by a huge wall topped by barbed wire.  Outside are the slums of the city, and inside it is lush and well manicured.  I found out this week that people here like to honk their horns a lot.  We are constantly hearing horns.  Also, this week is the commemoration of the Mexican revolution, so we have been hearing a lot of fireworks going off.
     Each day, we have an hour for Gym time.  This week, we have been playing fuzball and ping pong.  Elder Brown (not my companion, but one of my roommates) have gotten into a heated fuzball competition with some other elders.  We are playing again in a few hours, so wish us luck:)  Elder Brown and I also went on a couple runs this week. It is really hard because I´m not completely in shape, and we are at about 7300 feet above sea level.  I guess I haven´t completely acclimated yet.
     I finally found another elder going to Salt Lake!  We will be flying out together.  Also, I think there are a few sisters going, but I think they are leaving a week or two before me.  
     Well, I think that´s all from me this week.  I miss you all, and I hope things are going well.  Can you send some pictures?  I want to see all of your beautiful faces!  I have enjoyed the CCM (MTC) so much, but I´m about ready to get out into the field.  I know that I am exactly where I´m supposed to be, and that I was called by a prophet of God.  I know that the message I am learning is true, and that it will bring happiness to anyone who willingly receives it.  One more thing from Elder Bednar.  Whenever he travels, he asks converts about their experience with the missionaries. They always say that it was awkward, and the missionaries couldn´t speak the language, and their message was just weird.  So Elder Bednar asks them "So why did you keep inviting them?"  And their response is universally "because I felt the Spirit when they were teaching".  I know that I don´t need to know the language perfectly to be a good missionary, because the Holy Ghost is the real teacher, and as long as I try my best, He will do the rest.  That really comforts me.  I hope you all have a great week!  
Elder Weller       

Jared in Mexico City ... and then Jordan

This is a link to a video of where Elder Weller is staying for the next 6 weeks until December 16th, 2014.  Just skip over the first 60 seconds.  There are only a couple frames, but it gives you a good idea of the paradise he gets to learn in.

1st Week!

Subject: 1st week!
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:08:23 -0600

Hola familia!
      Things are great here in Mexico!  It has been really warm and sunny.  As one of my roommates puts it, it is "the greatest weather on God¨s green earth".  There are also parrots (or cocatills, I don´t know which).  Mom, I wish you could see them!  I will try to get a picture.The food is pretty good too.  It is kind of a mix of American and Mexican food, and they have lots of fresh pineapple, watermelon, and honeydew.  They also have really good apple juice.  I live in a casa, which is separated into about 4 rooms with 4 elders each.  My roommates are my companion, Elder Hamilton (from Lindon, UT, and serving in Rochester, NY), Elder Tolman, and Elder Brown.  We have grown pretty close this week.  
     Our daily schedule is wake up at 6:30 and study, breakfast at 7:45, then we go to our classroom for pretty much the entire day.  At 8, we go to the computer lab for TALL (technology assisted language learning), which is really helping me to learn the gospel vocabulary.  Our teacher, Hermano AguiƱiga, is pretty cool.  We have just us 4 elders, and 8 sisters, in our class, which is also our district.  We have already started teaching an investigator.  We had our third lesson yesterday.  At first we were really bad, because we would just read the lesson that we had written down.  Now, we are getting better at being able to converse with our investigator and explain when he asks questions.  
     Sunday was AMAZING!  Elder Hamilton and I had a leadership meeting in the morning, because he is our district leader.   Then we had Priesthood, and Sacrament meeting.  We all have to prepare a talk (in Spanish) every week for Sacrament, because the branch president calls people up at random.  Thank goodness, I wasn´t asked to speak on Sunday!  On Sundayafternoon, we watched a devotional given by Elder Scott at the Provo MTC, on prayer.  That evening, we watched "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration", which I think is now my favorite movie.  We had a really powerful district testimony meeting afterwards.  The spirit was so palpable.  Also, the hymns in Spanish are amazing.  I feel the Spirit so strongly whenever we sing them.
     The flight here was pretty uneventful.  There were 3 or 4 other elders who flew out of Seattle with me.  In Houston, we had lunch at Panda Express, and met another elder who was going home for CAT scans and such after he had gotten a concussion in the field (somewhere in South America).  He told us a lot about the Mexico MTC and gave us some tips.  We then met probably a dozen other elders and sisters heading down to the MTC with us.  Customs in Mexico City was a lot easier than I expected it to be.  When we arrived here, we were given all of our study materials, as well as a complete set of leatherbound scriptures in Spanish.  Let me tell you, it is HEAVY!  I just hope I can fit it all in my luggage when I head back to Salt Lake in 5 weeks!  I will admit, the first few days were REALLY slow, but it is starting to speed up now.  All is well with me!
     Mom, I hope you are feeling better!  Just stay off those narcotics;)  Dad, thank you for sharing that scripture.  I am really excited to be fulfilling the missionary purpose, which is to "invite all to come unto Christ".  I hope I answered everyone´s questions!  I know that I am doing what I should be doing, and that the Lord will bless me and you with great abundance throughout the next two years.  I love you all, and can´t wait to talk to you on Christmas!
Hasta luego,
Elder Weller
PS, my p-day is today, Tuesday, while I am at the MTC.  Also, could you mail my winter things to Salt Lake?  They are already in a box in the hallway.  I also forgot to bring my camera cord, so I can´t send pics yet.  I don´t know whether you want to find it in my Electronics box and send it to Salt Lake, or if I should find another way.  Just let me know what you think.

I'm Here!

November 5, 2014

Your Missionary's mailing addres is:
Elder Jared Owens Weller
16/12/2014  8 - C
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

 Hello family!  
     I made it to Mexico!  I am excited for the opportunity to learn Spanish and share the gospel with the Spanish-speaking people in Salt Lake.  Take care, and I know that Heavenly Father will bless you guys as both you and I serve Him.
Elder Weller

Note from the mom:  I have to admit, I stalked Elder Weller all the way to Mexico.  I'm not ashamed.  I found a really neat site called Flightview.  It gave me a real time view of Elder Weller's flight.  I was relieved to see that he landed.  I shed more tears of joy and sadness amid shouts and whoops.  Here we go!

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Mother's Prayer

November 4, 2014

Eighteen and some years ago, Heavenly Father, You gave this beautiful boy to me.  He was busy and noisy and very smart and drove me crazy at times.  I was sure I would never survive him.  As the years went by this noisy, busy, smart little boy settled down.  He went to school reading circles around all his kindergarten friends, and even some of the second graders at his school.  He struggled to have friends because he was always the very youngest and the very smartest boy in his class.  He grew up to have more friends than he knew.  The general consensus with all who knew him was that he was quiet, funny and very smart.  And when he quietly spoke, everyone listened.  He faithfully did all the things that he was asked to do and fulfilled all of his priesthood assignments.  He is such a good boy!  And then suddenly one day something happened.  This boy became my best friend.  This little boy who was quickly becoming a man was one of the very best gifts You could have ever given me.  I cherish this young man and adore him.  He has been mine for 18 years to love and care for, to teach and be taught, to hold and comfort and be comforted, and to occasionally have a roucus and silly good time.  Now I give him back to You for the next two years.  Please, oh please, watch over him.  Protect this boy that I love so much.  Bless him to always have the things that he needs.  Bless him to be happy and safe and healthy.  Bless him to find joy and success in all that he does.  Bless him to always know how much he is loved and missed at home.  And bless my tender heart that I can let him go to do this important thing for You.  Bless my aching heart to know that he is leaving his family for a short time so that others can be with theirs for an eternity.  And lastly, please bring him back to me when he is done.  And thank you for letting me have him as my son.


On November 5, 2014 we took Elder Weller to the Sea-Tac airport for his flight to Mexico City.  There he was to begin his training at the MTC to speak the Spanish language in his mission.  We got him all checked in and then took him to security.  We hugged him good-bye and refrained from any tears and then we watched him go through the line until we could see him no more.  Jared never looked back.  We got into the car and quietly began our lonely drive home without him.  Dave was the first one to have a tear roll down his cheek.  I followed with huge bursts of sobbing.  And now it begins.  I am a missionary mom and now I KNOW what all those mothers go through when they have the ULTIMATE test of "letting go".  I did it.  And now I am counting on the next 24 months to fly by.  I miss him already.