Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Our Missionary Returns!

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If you've been following me for a while, you'll remember that our first-born boy left for a 2-year mission for our church what seems like only a few short months ago. Well, apparently it's in reality been two years, and he's home now. Our reunion was delightful and here are the pictures to prove it. If you'd like to go to our farewell post, it's HERE

The following photo needs explaining. So my mom is very easily tricked and good-spirited about most things. She is also obsessed with Walmart, making multiple trips to the corporate giant each day. To take advantage of both of these traits, my sister with the Ph.D. thought it would be fun to give her a false later return date of our son, then stage a meeting at Walmart where she would go to the McDonald's inside her favorite Walmart for a Diet Coke and our son and the rest of us would be waiting there, completely unexpectedly. I shared this plan with John, and he agreed to be the one to find a reason to invite my mother to go with him to Walmart at the specified time. John, however, had different plans. HE thought it would be fun to spoil our surprise and have my mother get through the airport x-ray somehow and meet the 20-year-old boy at the gate and surprise US.

So we waited, unsuspecting, and talked about and laughed about the upcoming Walmart surprise as we stood at the bottom of the escalator waiting for our son to greet us after waiting for two years. And what to my surprise when I saw him, and saw that he was accompanied by an older woman. I could not figure out why he was behaving so familiarly with this woman until she got closer to us and I realized that she was my mother! I stood at the foot of the escalator with my hands on my hips and shouted, "This isn't FAIR!!" Here is their reaction to my exclamation.....

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Many of the following photos are self-explanatory, so I will show them without commentary.....

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 My favorite part about the following photo is how the 20-year-old boy is on his knees, the better to hug Twin A.... :)

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 I still get warm and fuzzy inside when I remember hearing his flawless Spanish for the first time upon his return. Having learned Spanish on his mission will serve him well for the rest of his life...

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 Waiting for luggage...

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Lamenting over lost luggage...

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 Wondering why I am shooting photos of him as he talks to the airline authorities about his lamentable lost luggage...

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 Waiting while the lamentable lost luggage situation is resolved...

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 Twin B finally got tired of pulling up his pants and just gave up...

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At the 20-year-old boy's favorite restaurant in the border town where he grew up...

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The welcome-home banner purchased and strung up by my sister-in-law and a friend, a fellow-missionary mom, whose son returned four days after ours, which sign was a wonderful surprise to us...

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It's amazing having a return-missionary son home. We sent him off at 18 years of age. We received letters from him each week and Skyped with him on Mother's Day and Christmas, but to hug him and speak with him face-to-face was indescribable. It felt like having a newborn. He's my son, but I felt like I was getting to know a new person. Although the following traits certainly did not define our son, gone were the selfish and typical youthful habits of the teenage boy we sent off. The man who returned was one who spent his few days here inviting his baby toddler brother to watch movies with him, fixing things, making his bed without being asked, and talking to me like we are friendly, comfortable peers. He's started his new life in California now, with my sister with the Ph.D., working in her lab, and surfing and eating at trendy restaurants and working with the missionaries in Santa Cruz and he couldn't be happier. Neither could we. We are so grateful for the example he has set for his eight younger siblings and we look forward to many more missionaries in our future.

If you would like to know more about our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or "The Mormons", please visit us HERE. Thanks for listening. :)


 

14 comments:

Life Happens said...

Wow, I remember when you posted when he left on his mission. What a wonderful welcome home and a twist to your plans to surprise your mom!

While I have MANY more years before I send my little guy on his mission, I hope I can raise him to want to serve his mission faithfully.

The pictures tell a lovely homecoming.

Anonymous said...

Congratualtions! Beautiful post and pictures and what a wonderful family!

loves2spin said...

Been there, done that, twice. You are right. It's indescribable! I am SO happy for all of you and what a great homecoming!

Megan said...

Yay! Good to hear from you again! I can't believe that it has been 2 years! Congrats and keep being an awesome mom.

Luvmy9 said...

Congratulations! He looks so grown up! And may you have many more! PS Did you know Michelle is putting in her papers? (Big smile)

Panama-mama (Michelle) said...

Congratulations! I know it must be so nice to have him home.

Jamie McG said...

Oh man, I finally just read this post and it brought such tears to my eyes!! He's so grown up and handsome. But of course he's still your little newborn baby, too :)

ajwhet10 said...

One of life's sweet paydays! So happy for you all!

Eileen Ward said...

Two years?! Really? It couldn't have been two years since you sent him off. It seems that time speeds up as you get older. Congratulations to him. I still can't believe that I've been following your blog for over two years now though...

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Jamie H said...

Haven't been around in a while. Even changed blogs since I last visited. Just happened to by stopping by and was shocked that one of your recent posts was this one! I remember when you posted he was leaving!! Has it been 2 years already?!

Jamie H said...

Haven't been around in a while (long story). I've even changed blogs since I last visited. Decided to go back to my blogging "roots" and re-visit some of my old friends.
I happen to visit your blog and see this post. I remember when you posted that he was leaving! Has it been 2 years already?!

trooppetrie said...

WOW has it really been two years. I remember you telling us about him leaving

PinkPirate said...

I love this. What a handsome and composed young man. It's amazing how they grow up in those 2 years/ One question - didn't he go to Oregon for his mission? How did he learn Spanish there better than he could at home in Mexico?