(Originally posted on our family blog April 8, 2015)
Packing requirements vary a bit depending on where a missionary is called to serve. Because Guatemala is warm and humid, Joe's "What to Bring" list is shorter than someone called to, for example, Finland. He only needs one suit. This will be worn on Sundays and for special meetings; the rest of the time he will wear slacks with mostly short-sleeved white shirts and ties.
Buying a missionary suit is a Very Big Deal. I would compare it to purchasing a wedding dress; from the moment I heard the doctor say "it's a boy!" I've looked forward to this outing. There is a great store in Utah called "Mr. Mac" that has a "Missionary Starter Package." This includes one two-pant suit, four shirts, four ties and a pair of shoes. First, we had to get an idea about fit...
They have a vast variety of suits, so once a size was selected it was time to focus on fabric and color. Joe opted for a suit with a high natural fiber content (breathability) in a medium grey color. Time to start tailoring... our salesman, Steve, was cracking me up - he kept saying "you're an athlete!" in response to the girth of Joe's thighs.
Once the adjustments were made to the suit, white shirts were tried on. This was really just too overwhelming - I should of taken a picture of the full deal, but I was too busy wiping my eyes! We thought these ties were appropriately conservative, yet complimentary:
And the final step (no pun intended): finding a pair of shoes that can walk miles every day...
This picture really gets me. It seems perfectly symbolic of stepping out of the world. Joe is going to be a wonderful missionary; he is humble, kind, and truly cares about others. I know that his mission is about him, his relationship with the Savior, and the people he will serve. Still, I am so grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to shop for a missionary.