Yesterday we dropped Brother S off at the MTC where he'll prepare, for the next three months, to serve a mission (in Sendai, Japan) for our church. Dropping him off was a very bitter sweet (emphasis on the bitter) experience for me. Brother S is a super mensch. Like most 21 year old boys, he can be a bit challenging, but he's usually a total delight. He is--and always has been--exceptionally good at being there when you need him and doing what needs to be done. A true renaissance man, he enjoys baking and making shoes as much as studying international relations and water purification. He's a really great brother and the prospect of him being gone for two whole years is a little jarring. But when I stop being selfish, I can't help but feel excited for him. I am so impressed with his decision to take two years out of his life to serve others. I'm sure this will be a great adventure. Sendai--where he'll be serving--is the part of Japan that has been most profoundly impacted by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. S is going to have the opportunity to help with relief efforts and serve those who have been deeply affected by these events. And--though I'm going to miss him sorely--there's no one who I can think of who will do this job better

Brother S explores a farm
Studying water purification 
Sculpture mimicry--I told you he was a renaissance man!
The best--and most beloved--uncle ever!
When we dropped Brother S off, we all became very weepy. He thought it was pretty funny :)
While he's on his mission, Brother S can only receive letters and packages (no phone calls!). If any of you would like to send him something, shoot me an email ( and I'll send you his info. For those who would like a quicker mechanism for delivering communications, the website DearElder is super handy. If you write a letter to him there, he should receive it by noon the next day.