For two years my little brother was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Many people know us more commonly as, The Mormons. He dedicated his life to spreading the word and sharing his testimony with those he met.
These two years were long and hard for the family back home. Our lives went forward as it seemed his was paused. There were two babies born in the family and we were all growing up while he was out serving.
When you are a missionary for our church you are set apart and called to a specific area. Some learn a language, some travel far. Kyle went to Mexico City, Mexico. He learned Spanish here in the states, then went down to Mexico and re-learned the language from those who speak it all the time.
When serving a mission for our church you have a companion that you spend all your time with. You share a room, you study together, pray together, walk together, and teach together. Kyle went through his share of companions and became close with many of them.
I am so proud of my little brother for travelling and learning in this calling. I am proud of him for accepting the call to go on a mission and for dedicating his life for 2 years to helping the people of Mexico.
We were able to write letters and emails to Kyle while he was serving. The thing about my relationship with Kyle is that we were always close. He and I talked about anything and everything before he left. He even called me the night he had his first kiss! So our letters and emails were no different. I told Kyle about what was going on in our lives here at home. He wrote me about what was going on there. There were often special emails he sent just for me. Expressing his love and care for me. I will always save those emails because I feel even closer to Kyle after having those. He is one of my very best friends. I would not have made it through the two years he spent away if I hadn't been able to write him and have him write me.
On December 15th Kyle returned to SLC. The family went to the airport to greet him as he came home. I cannot express how wonderful it was to see him walk up to us! When my older brother, Bryan, came home from his mission I didn't feel like our family changed as much as it did when Kyle returned. Bryan came home to see his siblings a little older. Kyle came home to an older nephew as well as a niece and a nephew he had never met!
Here are some pictures of the reunion.
Kyle can go by his first name once again. He is Kyle Crown rather than Elder Crown. I know he will continue to serve and be a missionary for the rest of his life!