There he is, the best big brother in the world. I couldn't ask for a better example. Rickey left November 9, 2011, for the Provo MTC. He was supposed to be there for 11 weeks before heading out to Ukraine. However, the Lord works in mysterious ways. None of the Ukrainian missionaries' visas went through, so at the end of the 11 weeks, Rickey was sent to Chicago. He was there for 6 weeks before the visa finally went through and he could go to Ukriaine.
This was the first time we had Skyped him. We've talked to him on the phone several times--more than most people, in fact. He was able to call to tell us what was going on with the visa, and we got 15 minutes then. This time, we got an hour. He was in an internet club in Lutsk, and we all crowded around Mom's laptop.
Rickey had us worried for a while. He was about half an hour late getting onto Skype. Turns out that he and his companion had a little bit of trouble getting a computer; after all, they were just in a public club. There were several interruptions. First, we got to meet some of the missionaries in his district. (According to one elder, Rickey is a beautiful person and the best elder in the district. I can believe that. :D) Then partway through, a man came up and started talking to him in Ukrainian. I guess Rickey and his companion had talked to him a while back. He showed Rickey the pamphlet they had given him and told Rickey that he would be coming to church on Sunday! So we got to witness missionary work firsthand.
I've always taken my family and friends for granted. Now, with so many missionaries heading out, I recognize just how much I rely on all of you to make it through each and every day. Thank you so much for all of the support that you give me. My life is made up of wonderful moments with all of you, and I'm so thankful for that. I love you all. Merry Christmas! :)