Tuesday, August 17, 2021

They're Home!!!

Two years is too long! Saying goodbye to Taylor and Parker as they left on their missions in August of 2019 was the second hardest thing I've ever gone through. (The first was losing my sweet sister, Tiffany, in a car accident in 2004). As they walked away through security, Christi and I really couldn't fathom having these two amazing guys gone for so long. We literally cried for hours, curled up in our bed, racked with sobs. After we got out of bed, we sat out on the deck and...cried some more. It was tough. We were happy with the choice they made to go and so grateful that they would sacrifice so much of their time to share the message of Jesus Christ with others, but WOW! did it hurt. Over time the pain lessened and we were amazed at the growth they were both showing. We loved our weekly FaceTime conversations and looked forward to these opportunities to communicate. 

Then COVID hit and they both unexpectedly came home much earlier than planned. We made the most of the few months they had with lots of family time including puzzles, games, movies and shows, camping, canyoneering and just being grateful for this bonus time together. Then they left again last summer. Finally on August 3 (Parker) and August 5 (Taylor) they made it home for good! It is so wonderful to have them back with our family:). The kids are all so happy to have them with us. They both spoke in church on Sunday and shared such beautiful messages about the Savior's role in our lives and how much they love Him. I'm so grateful for these two missionaries, their love of the Lord, and the chance to have them back with us, even if it's only a few weeks before they leave for college. Love you boys!!!


Funny(ish) story: Greeting your missionary as they come off the airplane is something you look forward to the entire time they're gone. The missionary knows to expect his whole family waiting as soon as he gets past security. When we picked up Parker, all went well. When we went back to get Taylor two days later, we waited at the same spot. And waited. And waited. We finally realized that since Taylor's flight came directly from Mexico, he was arriving at the international terminal. Fortunately he took a long time to get through customs, so we ended up finding him about 3 minutes after he arrived where people were waiting. But he was pretty confused as he walked through and none of us were there. Poor guy!