We drove into Provo and found the MTC. He could have checked in early, but I wasn't ready, I don't know about him. We went to where I used to live at Brigham Young University during my brief time there, glanced at the Harris Fine Arts Center where I worked cleaning the "mud rooms". I couldn't remember where the mud rooms were and suddenly we realized that there were only 2 hours to check in and we wanted to have lunch first. The old grocery store where we shopped when I lived at Heritage Halls (I was in Apt 64 in Harris Hall) now has a grill and ice cream - The Creamery on Ninth. We each had a cheeseburger and fries (should have shared fries. As if that wasn't enough, and it probably was, we each ordered double scoop of ice cream - Earnestly Chocolate - somewhat similar to Moose Tracks but with caramel cups and not quite as chocolatey. Double scoops! Fortunately, they had no cones so we got it in cups. We were each able to only eat about half of ours. We walked with them back to the car, drove up past Provo Temple to the head of the canyon, ate a few more bites, then headed down the hill to the MTC. We had to leave the ice cream in the car.
Benjamin called us somewhere in that time so we were on the phone with him just before Andrew actually walked into the MTC. Benjamin and Andrew had a last little talk. Andrew was deeply moved. Later, when it was time to part, one of the last things Andrew said to me was "Take care of Ben". It didn't help that in the meeting just before we separate, we watched a video showing missionaries recieving their calls, going to the MTC with their families, and one younger brother just clinging to his missonary and sobbing. Andrew and I both just basically cried through the whole meeting.
But before that in the lobby, I got to put
After the meeting, families say good bye and the missionaries exit on one side while the families exit on the other, not to see each other for two years. I joined the flow of crying families. I realized that we were walking along the end of the room we had just left. When we approached a cross hall, I looked down and saw Elder Robarts with his head high and his step confident, eagerly walking away to his new life. I hope he felt as good as he looked!
Back at the car, I found two bowls of "milkshakes" in place of our ice cream scoops and so drank a tribute to my missionary son.