Xander’s farewell

“My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” from Michelle Lehnardt on Vimeo.

There are two farewells when a missionary leaves– the first, a grand celebratory day where the prospective missionary speaks in church, we fill the house with flags and flowers and the counter fills with cookies and cards as friends and family come to visit. It’s a day with only happy tears, cheerful exclamations and expressions of gratitude for all the people who’ve taught and helped and loved this child. The second– the day the family drops off their missionary at the airport or the MTC– is smaller, quieter and for us, MUCH sadder.

I’d intended to cover both farewells in this blog post– I’d selected and arranged all the photos, written the blurbs– but those two goodbyes are so different, and so much happened in between, I just couldn’t.

So, you may feel like this blog is nothing but mission homecomings and farewells these days. And I agree.

Since there aren’t any arrangements for three violas, piano and a cello, Sammie arranged one all on her own (based on Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need”). Our ward generally frowns on family musical numbers for farewells, but due to scheduling difficulties we somehow got away with it. The strains of this lovely hymn filled our house the entire morning and offered peace when we needed it most. I’m grateful to those who were willing to bend the rules a bit.

Between rehearsals, Xander practiced his talk on a friendly audience.




It was a glorious day. A true celebration.

Thanks to everyone who attended, brought cookies, sent love and cared for our family.

Oh our darling boy.

August 19, 2017
September 9, 2017



  1. Michelle

    August 27, 2017

    Your last line made me cry.
    Son’s papers go in and he’s off to college this week. (Oh my darling boy.)

  2. Anne Marie

    August 29, 2017

    So much love and goodness here. Your missionary looks like an angel. Having a missionary out is such a huge sacrifice. It’s truly living the law of consecration. We loan them to God for 18 months or 2 years. Never have I had an experience in my life that felt so simultaneously bitter and sweet. I feel so so grateful for all that my son is learning and becoming but so so sad for all the time we have not had him with us. Truly bittersweet. Sending you all my best as you watch your fourth missionary beginning this adventure. He will bless so many people.

  3. jen

    August 30, 2017

    Ben had just left when I started reading this blog!

  4. Brooke

    September 2, 2017

    Absolutely beautiful arrangement. Thanks for sharing.

    My oldest is eight and I’m in my first trimester with number five and this pregnancy has changed everything about me as a mother. I am so sick! I can’t play with my kids and it’s hard to feel like the magic is gone. Anyway, I know it’s temporary and “this too shall pass”, but I appreciated the reminder that my shepherd will supply my needs, and my children (and husband’s) needs.

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