It was great to see a smiling young man, grinning from ear to ear, on the screen of our iPad! He introduced us quickly to the Caple’s and then went into another room to talk with us. We got to show him all the snow we received (being there wasn’t a lot of snow last year) and he showed us the rain he was experiencing (just a light drizzle, nothing like he’d been experiencing most of the fall). We were able to Face Time most of the cousins and Elder Hobbs’ grandparents on our phones and hold them up to the iPad, so they could talk and at least see one another a talk for a quick minute (technology, who would have thought). Once that was done and the siblings had a chance to ask all of the questions, they wanted, then came the heart to heart. Mom decided that since he didn’t feel like he had a chance to feel like Christmas, we would sing together. We took the iPad to the piano and as a family we sang, Were You There On That Christmas Night. This is a song that we knew and have sung the previous years as a family. This was a special experience to have. Elder Hobbs was able to sign Away In A Manger for us. He previously videoed this for a friend that he has gotten to know in the area. This friend is who has taught Elder Hobbs to speak in ASL (American Sign Language). Elder Hobbs also signed more, off and on, as he talked with us.
Much was said, but the highlight of being able to talk with him, was being able to have family prayer. Before Elder Hobbs left, he put little notes on our family calendar for the 2 years that he would be gone. Of which, one was stating on Christmas Day we would have family prayer and the locations would be Utah and Texas. Well he was only a few hours off of his location, but that was trivial. There’s nothing like being able to have a prayer together as a family. The gospel that he so willingly shares and testifies of, with others, is the reason that we know that families will be and are together forever. This was testified even more on Christmas morning as we were able to thank our Heavenly Father for the blessings He has given us and the opportunity for Elder Hobbs to serve a mission. As a family and parents we are grateful for Elder Brian Hobbs’ sacrifice and willingness to serve a mission. We love him and miss him, but know that he is right where is supposed to be. He will be eternally blessed for his service and dedication to the Lord.