It seems like just yesterday I was sitting at my computer typing this same post for a different brother. Little did I know, the Church would make a major announcement in the next General Conference that would have me writing this post an entire year before I thought I would.
My little brother Tommy recently got his mission call to Novosibirsk, Russia! What an exciting day that was! Russia was completely unexpected (ask my mom, she was on the floor), but absolutely inspired. Tommy is going to be an excellent missionary serving the people of Russia.
Some fun facts: The Russia, Novosibirsk mission is currently the largest mission in the entire church, geographically. It's about the size of the United States to give you an idea. It takes in the ice-cold area of Siberia, and also part of Kazakhstan. Tommy will also do a lot of traveling - Russia requires people serving there to renew their visas every 3 months, so he'll be flying to other countries often during his mission. The time spent in the MTC has also recently been cut, so Tommy will only be spending about 8 weeks there learning the Russian language. I know he'll be blessed with the gift of tongues in order to accomplish that!
Tommy, thanks for being my partner in crime. We've shared some amazing memories together over the years - jamming to rap songs, inventing the "grandwich", having a sleepover at our place, our hilarious daily picture/text message conversations, freaking out over the latest episode of Breaking Bad, late night Wendy's runs, watching movies together after Sunday dinner, and going on a million other adventures because you were always up for them. Recently, it was so fun for Daniel and I to go shooting with you for a whole day! I'm so lucky to have a brother with such an amazing sense of humor, and that I have so much in common with.
Tommy, I want you to know how much I love you! Things will not be the same without you around, but let's hope someone else in our family can step it up and be the "Responsible One" while you're away. Thanks for being an example to me of obedience. When you realized your mission was going to come a year early - you didn't miss a beat. Instead, you doubled your efforts to prepare and showed us all what it means to be a disciple of Christ by following His commandments. I am so proud of you! You are going to be an amazing missionary! The people of Russia are so lucky to have you.