Best idea: Sending Lance a cheap Trac phone to call me while at the airport!
We spoke this morning while waiting for his flight in SLC. We have been very diligent about writing and emailing, but actually hearing the excitement in his voice was so much better! He will have a layover in Detroit then again in Amsterdam. I believe, if my math is correct (though often it is not), he will arrive in Poland sometime very early Tuesday morning.
During our about 30 minute conversation, Lance expressed to me his gratitude for his experiences in the MTC. No surprise, knowing my son as I do, he made good friends out of everyone around him.
He has a special gift to be able to relate to anyone in any situation. And now he is exemplifying his gift by going to a foreign country to serve the Lord.
Lance shared with me a pretty cool experience he had while waiting in line to board his plane this morning...
He said that he and his companion were visiting and Lance said some words in Polish. A lady standing in front of him turned to him and said she is from Poland...so they started up a conversation. She gave him some good advice as to where to visit in Poland, what the best cathedrals are to go see, and what to expect as far as weather goes. At the end of the conversation, he offered her a Pass Along Card (little cards with our church's contact info on them and an uplifting message). She said, "No thanks." He called it his first rejection of his mission. But he was so happy about it, anyways! He said he got to know an awesome person from Poland, got some great advice, and realized that he was able to converse with her in the language. He views such "chance encounters with random people" to be of God. I would have to agree.
Serving an 18 month to 2 year proselyting mission is not an easy undertaking. A missionary chooses to leave the comforts of home, family, and friends to be sent away to an unknown area. Many missionaries leave their girlfriends/boyfriends, their jobs, their schooling, etc., all in the name of furthering the Gospel. In Lance's case, he also left behind his love of writing/performing music . He worked at a local production plant for many months, some weeks with no days off, to save and pay for his mission. He even sold his beloved drum set.
All of his own free will.