Yesterday we said goodbye to our 18 year old son, for 2 years...
Having just completed A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry he has a place at Manchester University studying for a Masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
However he has chosen to defer his place for 2 years, the reason?
He has opted to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He applied for his missionary service around Christmas time not knowing where in the world he would be sent. The application process involves interviews, medicals and more interviews. In April he received his assignment to serve in Greece and Cyprus. He instantly felt it was the "right place for him" and in between studying for A levels has been getting to grips with basic Greek and reading things like
The Iliad and Odyssey.
So yesterday we dropped him at the Missionary Training Centre where he will be spending 9 weeks to learn Greek and missionary skills, then flying to Athens. Once in Athens he will be paired with a more experienced missionary and live among the Greek people.
As members of the Church ourselves we always knew Jacob would probably decide to serve a mission, I did myself 25 years ago. But nothing prepares you for the day you wave goodbye. We know he will be safe, we know we will exchange emails every week, but we will miss him being around.
I will miss my "best mate" but at the same time I am so proud of the man he has become.
If you would like a peek into the life of a "Mormon" missionary, that is a little less weirdly edited than Chanel 4s "Meet the Mormons" documentary. Please pop over and take a look at the blog we will be keeping of his preparation and adventures..