WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Stilman White is very quick to tell you he has many things to be thankful for.
This Thanksgiving may be one of those things he'll hold on to for quite a while.
"It will truly be something special because it will be the last time we'll be together for a while." White said.
On Monday White will say goodbye to his family and fly to Utah where he'll begin his Mormon mission trip, spending the next two years studying scripture, spreading the Gospel and serving the community.
"It was a very emotional day, I'm not usually a very emotional person but when I opened up that letter and found out where I was going I was just overcome with emotion because it's something I've been looking forward to my whole life."
That life will change drastically.
White will wake before the sun rises, his day not ending until late into the evening.
Missionaries are also allowed only two phone calls per year, can send and receive email once per week outside of that there's no TV, telephone or Twitter.
"I think once I go through it and I don't have it I'll realize how good it is for me not to be sticking my nose in my phone every five seconds, but right now it's a little hard to comprehend."
White has already lived through one life-changing experience.
As a late signee to North Carolina, he went from garbage-time player starting guard in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. He'll now sacrifice his game for his service.
"Yeah I've kind of had that in the back of my mind to play as much as I can to the point I'm almost sick of it because I'm going to have a little while where I'm not going to get to play very much."
"Hopefully for the next two years I can be Elder White to more people than Stilman White."