Tommy is on his way to Uganda. His plane left about 45 minutes ago and he should be there in less than 4 hours. I'll be so thankful to have him settled at last, under the care and watchful eye of his own mission president (and the mission president's wife). He emailed me on Sat the 12th (2:00 in the morning our time) and said that was when he would have computer time the next Sat as well if I wanted to get up so we could 'chat' by swapping emails (something I used to do when Jamie was in Sweden). So on the 19th I got up at 1:00 am (just to be sure I didn't make a mistake in the time difference and miss him). Right about 2:00 he emailed me that he was there. I was so excited!!! I sent him back a quick email and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally he emailed back and said he only go 20 minutes on the computer and had over 100 emails that he'd been trying to wade through. He said he had to go but would email from Uganda. I couldn't believe it! I didn't even get to ask him what day he was leaving. Or why he was wading through 100 emails when he knew I was sitting there at 2:00 in the morning waiting to talk to him...It's a good thing I love him - and that he was in Africa. So I emailed Sister Libby who works in the mission office in Uganda and asked her if she knew when he'd be arriving there. She emailed back and said he was coming today. So this morning when I got up I had a nice long email from him. The traveling missionaries were all packed up so they had been allowed a little extra computer time - when I WASN'T there to chat back. But it was still good to hear from him. He was excited to get to Uganda and meet his new companion.
And on a related topic (my other kids say all I talk about is Tommy - which is not true - although this journal entry does kind of back up their claim) I joined an Missionary Moms email group shortly after Tommy got his call (like the next day - I needed reassurance). The group has been very supportive and informative and just a pleasure to me. One mom, Shannon Tolman, has a son Peter who is 4 months ahead of Tommy - so she was able to give me very practical advice about how to get him ready. She has some friends (the Cowans) who work for the Church and are currently assigned to South Africa. They go to the MTC frequently to let the missionaries 'practice' on them. While they were there on July 11th they met a missionary from Ethiopia (Elder Shegena) who was headed to Capetown. Elder Tolman is currently serving in Ethiopia and had met Elder Shegena before he left for the MTC. So the Cowans took a picture of Elder Shegena and his companion and sent it to Shannon. When Shannon saw that Elder Shegena's companion was from Alabama - she knew it had to be Tommy and forwarded the picture to me. What are the odds? How huge a blessing was that? To see Tommy happy and smiling in the MTC across the world? The picture is posted on my "About Me" page if you haven't seen it. Anyway, sometimes I am in the right place at the right time - or friends of a friend are anyway!!!