Elder Mattiaccio was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on October 26, 2015. He was set apart by our Stake President, President Jones. It was such a special moment. Before he was set apart he received counsel from President Jones, President Walker and Bishop Pinedo. This was a very special day for Elder Mattiaccio and of course us.
On October 27th his last day home, we chose to head to Salt Lake City and spend time with him as a family. We headed there early with the idea to avoid traffic and spend quality time with him. Our first stop was Olive Garden. The meal itself was good but what made it even better was what happened after. We stepped out of the restaurant and noticed that a homeless woman who had been sitting at the corner when we arrived was still there. Grant said to us, maybe we should give her our leftovers. We all immediately agreed and Elder Mattiaccio and Drew headed over to her and handed her the still warm leftovers. She immediately thank them and began to eat it. When Elder Mattiaccio turned around all I noticed were the tears running down his face and the joy in Drew's smile. They had just experienced that great feeling that charity and service bring. The feeling that you are doing what Heavenly Father wants you to do and He is pleased. Heavenly Father places people in our path and the opportunity to serve them and love them as He does. It is up to us to take advantage of those opportunities and make the best of them.
Then we headed to the Salk Lake City Temple, Temple Square and we headed directly to the North Visitor Center, the missionary display.
We sat as a family and watched the videos of missionaries and their stories. They have a counter of how many missionaries are on the field. It was changing as we were there. It also shows all the different countries where missionaries are serving.
Again, we felt comforted. We were so comfortable being there, listening to these stories, we didn't realize the time. We suddenly had to go.
We headed to the airport and arrived early. Immediately, we ran into a young woman (Sister Store) and her parents and we started to talk. She too, was headed to the Guatemala MTC but serving in El Salvador. As time went by other missionaries (can't remember their names) and their parents started showing up. They all seemed excited and scared all at the same time. It was a comfort to all that our missionaries were not going alone and there were other families who were experiencing the exactly same thing.
The time came and we began saying our goodbyes. Many emotions were flowing. Some probably from fatigue.
As quickly as it began it ended. Elder Mattiaccio walked through security, turned around and gave one last wave and he was gone.
To our surprise and delight we heard from him the very next morning.
Here's what he wrote:
Hola Mamita Linda,
I arrived safely here in Guatemala. I already love it here. I came on the plane with 13 other missionaries and I´m working on learning their names. We received our badges (yay!) so that should make that a little bit easier ;P. We've unpacked and gotten room and bed assignments. I am in the first bed so it is my responsibility to turn on/off the lights in the morning and at night. We had an interview with the CCM president and after i finish writing this, i get to take a nap :).
I love you. I was able to meet with abuelo Otto (as you saw) he gave me his phone number and address so i´ll see if i can get down.
Love you. bye
We were so excited and relieved and that he shared details of what was going on.
We are so very proud of Elder Mattiaccio. We admire his courage in choosing to serve a mission. We are sure many will follow in his footsteps.
If you would like to write to him his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org