It was so good to see Amy and Stu. They both looked amazing -- just glowing. I loved getting to see their missionary tags in their respective languages.
The lobby of the Church Administration building was very beautiful. My dad pointed out President Uchtdorf and President Eyring's offices to us. Then we were ushered upstairs to Elder Scott's office for the setting apart. We were joined by Elder Patrick Kearon. The hallway leading to his office was filled with Elder Scott's artwork and paintings. Although his office was large, they had to bring in extra chairs to make room for us all to sit. By the time we all sat down, my dad looked around and there was only one seat left -- Elder Scott's big armchair behind his desk, which he urged my dad to sit in.
At one point, Elder Scott asked everyone in the room who had been on a mission to raise their hand. Twelve of the sixteen of us had. I thought that was very impressive. Elder Scott addressed my grandparents and asked them about their missions. They told some stories I'd never heard before, and even Elder Scott was impressed with their service.
My favorite part of the setting apart was listening to Elder Scott give advice. He wasn't rushed or hurried, even though I'm sure he had 10 more mission presidents to set apart that morning. He gave advice and counsel as it came to him, very naturally. The advice that stuck out most in my mind was when he told my dad that the Lord does not put a seasoned head on nineteen year old missionaries, but they are all doing their best. He was essentially telling him to be patient with them when they do stupid things, because they are all doing their very best with the experience they have. I thought that was nice advice.
Elder Scott set apart my dad and Elder Kearon set apart my mom. After the setting apart, we sat down and Elder Scott talked to us a little more. Then we all stood up to gather the chairs and shake his hand on the way out. Chris was the last one out, and he mentioned to Elder Scott how he had met him in New Zealand when Elder Scott came to speak to the missionaries there. Elder Scott said how beautiful New Zealand was and how he'd love to go back sometime soon. Chris said, "Well if you decided to go, give me a call and I'll go with you!" Yep, Chris invited himself on vacation with an apostle. Sweet.
Then we all headed downstairs to the front steps to take a few pictures. It was a beautiful, perfect day for pictures. A perfect ending to a wonderful morning.
The four missionaries.
The whole group.
Mom & Dad.
The four missionaries.
Mom & Dad with Grandmother & Grandfather Pace.
Everyone trying to figure out what the crap Brent is doing.
All of the boys.
All of the girls (plus my grandmother's hand).