Last night we called Thompson's to say goodbye to Drew one more time. The only problem was - he wasn't home! He had gone with his cousins to Mutual to play basketball (and no, he wasn't wearing his white shirt and tie). Rochelle sent his cell phone down to him so he was able to speak to all of us one last time. Not a lot was said - I think we were all out of good byes. He did tell us how much enjoyed his session at the Salt Lake Temple and his experience at the Conference Center with a Dutch tour guide. (Drew said they were kindred spirits).
After we hung up, we did have one last toast in his honor. I have been hoarding this can of Guarana for far too long and I had planned to share it with Drew before he left but we somehow forgot. After cooling a glass down in the freezer for a few minutes (you can't drink Guara with ice), I poured the contents into the glass and we all took turns having a sip until it was gone.
We did manage to speak to Drew one more time before he went into the MTC today (at 1:10 MST). I was on a teleconference at about 1:40 CST when I got a call from Rochelle's cell phone. I stepped out of my office and simply told him that I loved him and challenged him to "Step up, brother." He was able to reach Raena one last time before he reported.
Raena spoke with Rochelle later and got some more information on how the day had gone. Before he left, Drew went into each of his cousins' room and wrote something on their whiteboard. Rochelle didn't say what he wrote, other than it was appreciated. On the way to the MTC, Drew was somber "but in a good way" as Rochelle described it. They got there right on time and were the first ones in their group to arrive. They were both a little shocked to see a red limo pull up (it had to go the bus area) and see it disgorge a missionary and his entourage. Seriously.
I have been think a lot about Drew tonight - wondering how this first experience in the MTC has been, what his companion is like, and what might be going through his mind.