Oh, how I LOVE this family! We go WAY back – literally. All the way back to the year of 1993 in the blessed land of Ohio. Em (the mom) was serving her mission in our little ward, and my family was known as the family to feed the missionaries when no one signed up. Needless to say, we saw A LOT of the missionaries in our house growing up. And I loved it. Some though stand out. Em “Walnut” is definitely one of those (and she should be….my little sister is named after her!) Em was not just an amazing missionary, but a true friend to our family.
I also remember her talking about her high school sweetheart, Rich, who was also serving a mission. We got to meet him when we came to Utah for our family vacations. Of course, they were married at that point. Every time we came to Utah, we made sure to spend time with the Geertsens. Their family grew each time we saw them, and we always enjoyed every minute with them! One of my favorite parts about hanging out with this family now is that they are some of the very few people in my “Utah” life that knew my dad well. Since we moved to Utah after he passed away, I feel like he’s just an imaginary person to many of the people here I am close to. So it’s fun to be with this awesome family and be able to share memories of my dad. And maybe a jab or two at his very unsocial demeanor…. we still love him anyway.
Em’s oldest son, Kendall, is leaving to serve a mission in the Adriatic North Mission. How cool is that?! (Look it up….you know you have no idea where that is….) They needed some family pictures before he left, and I was so happy they asked me to do them. I love working with this family and seeing all the kids grow and develop into amazing people. Just like their parents. I’m so happy for Kendall and the journey he is about to have. He’ll be an awesome missionary if he is anything like his mom. It’s in his blood!