Thursday, February 10, 2011


Manti really likes Elder Teulilo. I admit that I do too! He's agreed to come back after he finishes his mission with enough cows (and we've decided its best if its in the form of hamburger and steaks) to marry Mesa. But more than that, Elder Teulilo started a little spark inside my boy,...and that ember stayed lit for months. Sometime after Elder T was transferred, we got Elder Joos. He is such a motivated person and fun at the same time. He would ask Manti for rides, and then invite him to just hang out with him and his companion. That was successful in a lot of ways too. Then Elder Joos is transferred and his companion, Elder Hanson (or "Handsome" as Jared calls him) continued where Joos left off. He has continued inviting Manti to the missionary meetings each week and asking him to go on team-ups with them.

One day, Manti came home from one of these missionary meetings in our district, and he was different. He bubbled over telling me about his day. Elder T had been there, and was the one who taught their training. He also had a game for them, and Manti played too. Someone took a video of him throwing himself into a wall and put it up online somewhere too. They all went out to eat as a large group of missionaries with coupons, and the fun just continued.

Manti told me all this and much more. As he did, his face got brighter and brighter, as if someone were holding a flashlight to his face. It was so dramatic and precious to me, that I finally had to ask him if he was ready to go get his OWN missionary stories. He looked at me, smiled, and said "yes". I asked if he wanted me to pull out the links so he could start filling out his papers,...and again he says "yes."

The next day I verify that I've got the right links and I email them to Manti. He has worked on them ever since, here a little, there a little.

A couple weeks ago, he comes to us and says he wants to go to the Goodwill Store and find a cheap suit so he can get used to wearing one. Tommy took him and they found one for about $7.00. He's worn it repeatedly ever since.

Now, his paperwork is done and he is giving away his "crazy" ties and wearing a suit. Yesterday, he met with a doctor and had his missionary physical. That only leaves the dentist and turning in those papers. He listed his date of availability as his birthday--June 18th.

I'm already feeling the tears move in on me as I see my little boy preparing himself to be a man. He's trying to prepare himself emotionally and spiritually too! He has made small efforts towards doing things that make me smile--and sometimes cry. He has worked on his patience with his little brothers. He has made a point to intentionally guide his little sister when she's stumbled along her way.

Whoever gets my Elder Bailey will be getting a genuine servant of God.....and a young man I'm very proud of.


  1. I'm gushing with pride too!!

  2. My heart could almost burst with pride in this young man. All his life I have known he is special. Now the world will get to experience him and be a better place because of it.