(By Taylor's Mom, Alicia)
All I can say, is thank heaven this day was so busy and chaotic, or I would have probably collapsed in tears. Even though it's not my first time as a Missionary Mom, it sure feels like it! What a bittersweet time...
Taylor gave a great talk on missionary work. He spoke of his assurance that the people of Costa Rica are waiting for him to teach them the gospel, that Costa Rica needs him, and that he needs Costa Rica. He told a funny story about giving a group of obnoxious teenagers the wrong directions to the Oregon City football game, sending them clear to Molalla instead of right down the street where they wanted to go, and said that in contrast, he will be giving correct and precise directions as a missionary. He also talked about Heavenly Father knowing each of his children by name, contrary to his own father, who only has 6 children and can never get their names right. He told how on his 8th birthday, he was so excited to get a nice set of leather bound scriptures from his Dad, and didn't notice until just a few years ago, that where his name is engraved, there is a big space between Taylor and Graham. When he asked his Mom about that space, he learned that his Dad had a "J" put there for Taylor's middle initial, thinking that his middle name was Jacob (Nick's middle name) instead of Chase, and when his Dad realized it, he scraped the "J" off, leaving a space. Taylor went on to say that if Heavenly Father were to give Taylor a set of scriptures, it would have his correct name on it. It was very funny and endearing. After church everyone wanted to see Taylor's famous scriptures. He bore a very tender and emotional testimony, and truly seemed like a missionary.
After church, we had an open house for Taylor. Many, many people came to wish Taylor well. Taylor's best friends, Adam and Stephen were here as well as other friends from school and work. The Hibler family, Grandma Graham, and Aunts, Uncles and Cousins were here, in addition to a lot of people from our ward and stake.
That evening, Taylor was set apart as a missionary by President Kohler, a counselor in the Milwaukie Stake Presidency. He gave Taylor a wonderful blessing, with many promises and gifts, and Taylor became Elder Graham!
Early the next morning, he would be leaving for Utah! Family prayer was very emotional that night!