Sunday our family was able to gather in celebration
of our dear friend Braden as he prepares to serve an
LDS mission in Phnom Penh Cambodia.
He is a remarkable young man with a special spirit.
My older girls were babysitters for him and his younger brother.
Since he was a little boy
he has planned and prepared to be a missionary.
Despite many challenges and disappointments
while growing up, he has always faced the world
with a positive attitude and a smile on his face.
(Braden with my youngest daughter at his baptism.)
I have known Braden since he was born.
I met his mother, Kim when she was one of my high school
students over 29 years ago.
Several years later we built a home in the same
neighborhood where she and her husband lived.
We became friends and our families have stayed
close despite their moving away 10 years ago.
During that time I have seen what an amazing mom
she has been raising two young boys
as a single mother.
It is evident how much they love and adore her.
(Couldn't resist sharing this cute photo of younger brother Cutler
who will be leaving on his own mission in a year and a half.)
Braden will have some challenges ahead as he learns
the language and the culture and prepares further
to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ
with the people of Cambodia.
He will do so with a strong desire and a humble heart.
Please say a little prayer for him
and his family.