Posted by April McMurtrey on August 16, 2013 in observations


Yesterday morning I woke with excitement to get up, out and going!  It was Wednesday and we were headed to the Salt Lake Airport, so I knew we would be in for a treat!  Wednesday is the day when new missionaries report to the MTC and they often fly in that morning to the Salt Lake Airport!  It is also the day when many missionaries leave the MTC to head out into the field!   I was eager to see many missionaries both coming and going!

It didn’t take long, once we arrived, before my husband exclaimed, “There’s one!”  But I couldn’t see where he was pointing.  He kept trying to show me and was saying, “Right there, hugging his parents!”  But, I only caught a fleeting glimpse of the back of his suit. That was enough, however, to warm my heart and renew my excitement about the hastening of the work!  I kept my eyes open for more!

Just a few minutes later, my husband pointed again and said, “There’s another one!”  But, again, I couldn’t see him!  My husband asked, “Can’t you see that young man in the suit, with his crying mother?”  But I couldn’t find him!  Then, as we were moving down the escalator, I briefly saw the back of him, in the arms of his mother.  I smiled!  (Or did I cry?Probably both, as I’m smiling and crying now just recalling the memory!)

I really wanted a good, long look at a new missionary, however!   I kept my eyes peeled and asked my husband to help me see the FRONT of one this time!  But on the short journey to our gate, we did not see any more.  I was a little disappointed.  I thought the airport would be flooded with missionaries!

I sat down and reflected on that wonderful time when we brought our own son to this same airport, not 3 months ago, to drop him off at the MTC.  I can’t remember a more exciting day!  I sat there thinking how happy I was for all the other families who were about to have similar, wonderful memories!  Then….. my husband tapped my shoulder and excitedly said, “There you go!”

I looked up and was so happy!  There heading past our gate were a whole FLOCK of elders!  I was so proud!  I wanted to jump up and say, “Go get them boys!!!”  But I didn’t.  I just sat and watched them with a huge grin on my face!  I then decided I must have a picture!  I fumbled for my phone and tried to pull up the camera quickly because they were walking by us at a brisk and purposeful pace!  I kept looking frantically back and forth between them and my phone, and wondering why it was taking so long to pull up my camera!  By the time I finally was prepared to snap the photo, it was too late.  All I could see in the lens – were their BACKS and even those were in the distance now!   I snapped the photo anyway.

Then I looked at the picture and I thought for a minute.  In all my eagerness to witness new missionaries headed to the field today, all I had been able to see – were theirbacks.   BUT, I then realized, there is nothing else I would rather have witnessed!  I saw the backs of missionaries who were faced toward their goal – their missions!  I saw their backs as they headed away from me and into white fields to those who are waiting for them!  I saw them, faces pointed toward 2 years of work and sacrifice -to bring others to Christ!  I saw their backs – as they headed off – to do the work of the Lord!

Now, I cherish that photo of the backs of brand new elders headed toward their missions!

I ask you, is there anything better than the Salt Lake Airport on a Wednesday morning?  In my opinion, only 1 thing might be better….the Salt Lake Temple on a Tuesday night!  (But that’s a post for another day.)

May the Lord bless these wonderful, devoted, faithful missionaries

facing the work of the Lord!!!


Feature photo courtesy of

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