Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Adventure Home From Arequipa!
April 6-7 2020

We have been home in Hooper for a few weeks now.  
This post will tell the end of the story.  

"You will be going home."
We were so happy to hear those words.  

We were ready to leave for the airport Monday morning April 6, at 7:00 am.  
we needed to be there by 8:00 am to meet the other missionaries.  After getting everything out the door and to the car to leave.  Brother Redwood kept wanting to get in our apartment.  He kept knocking on the door and wanting something.  Wayne locked the door when he took the luggage downstairs.  When I left with my little suitcase, Brother Redwood was there and unlocked the door.  I told him the door needed to stay locked and that Wayne gave President Antelo the key.  I locked it again and tried really hard to pull it shut behind me.  I'm not sure I accomplished it though.  I think he stuck his foot in.  I wish I knew why or what he wanted.  Oh well.  We left the apartment. 

Outside out the temple missionaries were there to say goodbye. We took some pictures and said our goodbyes.  It was a bitter sweet for me.  

It was harder to say goodbye than I thought it would be.  We took pictures, gave elbow bumps, and wished we hug them all, but couldn't, we smiled and waved.  As we left the temple, I felt a little relieved, a little sad, a little scared, a little cheated, but happy and safe to be going with Wayne to the airport. We sighed with relief to be on our way to the USA and to Hooper.   
We rode in one taxi and the Doxey,s rode another one.  

Wearing our N95 masks

Wow!  I love him!

Brother Moreno

Meeting Up With The Missionaries

When we arrived  just outside the Arequipa airport to meet up with President and Sister Marsh and the 84 missionaries, it was quite a site.  It was emotional for me because I could feel the spirit so strong and I felt loved and safe.  The young missionaries have always been special to me.  They have a spirit about them that always makes me feel good and I loved it.  I've had a love for the young missionaries.  

We waited and visited with the missionaries, finding out where they served in Arequipa and where they were going home to. Several of these kids knew Danny because he'd taught them in Seminary or they knew who he was.  It made us proud.  Some missionaries told of the miracles that happened as they left their areas to get to the airport.  Several were stopped by police for being out and for traveling, some were detained, some had a hard time getting transportation.   Many miracles.  

This is the situation in Peru when we left.  Peru was locked down, everyone was in quarantine to stay in their homes.  Women could go out on Monday Wed and Friday and men could go out on Tuesday Thursday and Saturday.  Sunday no one could be out. Many miracles were told as the missionaries by the missionaries of almost not being allowed to leave their areas and travel to the airport.  Phone calls were made, papers were showed and they all arrived to fly home.  Such a blessing and tender mercy.

These pictures are of us and all the missionaries waiting for all of the missionaries to arrive just outside the airport.   We waited for almost an hour.  It was fun to see all of them together.  Many reunions of friends they had served with and trained with in the MTC.  It was a great site. Such a sweet feeling to be around such wonderful full tome missionaries serving Jesus Christ.

Sister Laurie Nelson Marsh
President Nelson's Daughter

President Richard Marsh holding the papers waiting for his missionaries

The Hermanas

When it ewas time to go to the airport entrance, the Sister missionaries were able to ride the small shuttle bus and we go to ride with them.  The Elders walked to the entrance with their luggage.  They were all there before we got there.  

Hermanas on the shuttle bus.

Brother and Sister Doxey

When we got to the parking lot of the Airport, we waited for someone to come and take our temperatures before we could enter the airport top check in.  We waited for a long time.  It was hot outside and President Marsh told the missionaries to stay in the shade.  He wanted us to not be too hot.  No one came to do the temperature taking, so they finally let us check in without that.  

These pictures of us waiting to enter the airport

Missionaries getting last minute emails and contact information from their friends.

Brother and Sister Doxey told President Marsh they were going home to Denver, but they decided to go to their daughter's house in Texas.  President Marsh didn't get that message so they had to do some changing to get their flight to Texas instead of Denver Colorado. 

Look at Wayne!  The best missionary to me!

Sister Marsh with the Hermanas

Waiting for temperature checks with their luggage. 

The Arequipa missionaries going home!  
86 of them!

President Marsh saying goodbye and giving last minute instructions.

Last minute instructions from Sister Marsh

It was a beautiful day!

In line to check in.

President Marsh checking off the missionaries as they enter to check in.

Wayne and I had a good visit with Laurie Marsh.  She is such a sweet lady.  We talked about her family and she talked to us about her dad, our Prophet.  We talked about her dad announcing the new temples.  One of them was a temple in China.  She said when she heard him say that, she couldn't help but cry because of all the work he has done there for this to happen.  Several years ago he thought he should learn Chinese,  he followed that prompting.  He did surgery as a physician there and it was a blessing he could speak the language.  That experience and many others have helped his relationship with the government in China.  Little tender mercies and now a temple will be built in China.  We only wish we could have served longer to get to know President and Sister Marsh better.

Wayne and I were almost the last ones to enter.  It was quite a task but such a smooth one.   

We waited for about 30 minutes to board the plane.  This is one of the Elders that knew Danny.

Arequipa to Lima Flight
April 6, 2020

Finally we were on the plane to Lima, a short flight for a little over an hour. 

The missionaries on the plane

A prayer was said by one of the missionaries and we were on our way.  I kept trying to sing Called to Serve, but no one joined in.

Once we got to Lima, We didn't pull into a gate, we stayed on the tarmac.  We all got off the plane and moved to another plane.  We waited for a little while then a group of missionaries from Piura Mission got on the plane and joined us for the flight to the USA.  We were so happy when we saw Sister Tali Truman from Hooper get on our plane.  We had known she was waiting to go home.  It was nice to know she was with us.

Flying from Lima to LA
April 6, 2020

This is the plane filled with missionaries from Aequipa and Piura

On the long flight from Lima to Los Angeles, they gave us dinner.  We were all a little disappointed when we saw we were having chicken and rice.  We could hear some groans of disappointment from some of the missionaries too, but we were ALL grateful to have it.

We arrived in Los Angeles!!  So happy to be closer to home and in the USA.  We could drive to Hooper if we had to.  We were tired and thankful to finally be out of Peru.

We gathered up our luggage with all the other missionaries.  Probably about 150 of us.  We all had at least 4 bags and then some.  It was quite a site. 


We were able to meet Sister Tali Truman our neighbor from Hooper

10:10 pm Tom Bradley International Airport

10:29 pm Tom Bradley International Airport

As we left, the airport, we were greeted by a mission president serving in LA.  He and his wife were in charge of us now.  I think it is wonderful the church takes such good care of it's missionaries.  I don't remember the mission presidents name,  he was really nice to us and told us where to meet to get s shuttle.  He told us a shuttle would be taking us to a Marriott Hotel to spend the night.  His wife would be at the Hotel to give us our room key and there would be some food for us. We'd go back to the airport in the morning to catch our flight home. We waited in line with the other missionaries.  Wayne visited with the mission President which was nice.  There were two shuttle busses that took all of the missionaries with all their luggage.  Wayne wanted to be the last one to go because he wanted to make sure no one got left behind.  We were on the last shuttle from the airport to the hotel.  When we got to the hotel, it was just as we had been told.  The Mission President's wife had our room key and we had a nice room.  We left our luggage and we went to get dinner,  pizza and water but it almost gone, but so nice of them to have it for us.

Los Angeles to Salt Lake
April 7, 2020
Wayne was up early and went down to the lobby to see what he could do to help.  I stayed in the room and gathered up our stuff  making sure we hadn't left anything, of course I had to fix my hair and all that stuff.  After all we're going home and I wanted to look good.  

7:49 am Marriott Hotel

We slept well! Breakfast was provided for us that morning.  We had an Apple, Granola Bar and water.  Some missionaries had early flights, so they were gone early.  We were on the flight to Utah with most of the missionaries.  The procedure back to the airport was just reverse of the night before.  All the missionaries were waiting to get on the two shuttles with their luggage to go back to the airport.  Such a task!  Once again, Wayne wanted to be the last one to make sure no one got left behind.

  When everyone had emptied the lobby of the hotel, we noticed a hat that had been left.  I knew it belonged to one of the missionaries because I had seen one wearing it.  Wayne knew what to do.  When we got to the airport, all of the missionaries had gone up to the gate. 

When we got to the airport, most of the missionaries from Peru had already checked in and were at the gate.  We saw two missionaries going home from Tonga.  They had on their Tonga skirts and sandals.  We had fun talking to them.  I had to include them.

We checked in and found our gate and joined the other missionaries.  Wayne had the hat that got left at the hotel on his head, and when the missionary who it belonged to saw it he was so glad Wayne had it.
The hat!

  Once again we waited at the gate in LA for our flight to Salt Lake.  We were all a little anxious to get going but it was interesting to watch the missionaries who hadn't been in the USA buying things they'd missed while serving in Peru.  

Elder Marz
He knows Danny

Elder Flitton
He knows Danny

We boarded the plane for Salt Lake, our third flight.   It was a good flight and didn't take very long. 


Our group on the last flight from LA to Salt Lake

I took this picture of us at 11:15 am

We gathered up our stuff and waited until all the missionaries had exited the plane. 
While we were walking down get our luggage, Wayne realized he left his backpack in the overhead compartment on the plane.  He had to go back through security to see if he could get it.  I went on down to get our luggage.

Salt Lake City UTAH
April 7, 2020   

Last Goodbyes

I found three of our four bags, and then I waited for Wayne to come.  I said my goodbyes to the sister and a few of the Elders and I waited. After all the missionaries had left, finally Wayne came with his backpack.  He had a hard time getting them to let him back to the gate and on the plane.  I guess because there aren't many people traveling that made it a little easier.  He had to have someone escort him, but he was able to get it.  We checked with the airport people to find out how to get our fourth bag, they said it was on a later flight, they would deliver it to our house later in the day.  We left to go find Andy and Brady. 

Because of the covid virus, the rules for picking up  missionaries has changed.  You have to meet the missionary in the parking garage and there can only be two people.  Brady and Andy were the two who were picking us up   Brady drove his Forerunner and Andy drove Wayne's Brown Ford truck.  They were there waiting for us when we walked out.  We were so happy to see them!  We were the only ones left in the garage.   We couldn't hug them and had to stay 6 ft away even with our masks on.  It was weird but so nice to see them.  Wayne drove us home and Brady and Andy went home in Brady's car.  

Hooray!!! We Are Finally HOME!!  
Well almost.  

Wayne and I stopped at Chick- fil-A to get a sandwich on the way home.  We were welcomed by our kids and grandkids when we pulled up to our house.  It was so good!!  I cried and wanted to hug them all but because of the quarantine we had to stay apart and just wish.  

Home In Hooper 
April 7, 2020

A cute Welcome Home sign

The kids and grand kids were waiting on our lawn for us to arrive home!  It was such a welcome sight to see them all.  It was hard to 6 ft. away from them and not share hugs.  I shed tear of joy to be home with Wayne safe and with our family.  

Such a nice Welcome Home

Brad and Eve Beus made a sign to welcome us home too.

We've been home for a few weeks now, and we are so happy to be home.  We've been in quarantine and stayed away from the kids and grandkids, but we are home!  We can go outside and walk around our house and yard,  We can go for rides in our own vehicles and we still enjoy being together. Boy, what an adventure this has been and a memories we will all remember. 

Today, April 21, 2020 we are out of quarantine, so now let the hugs begin!

I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves us and watches over us.  He knows us and will always be there for us.  President Nelson is a prophet of the Lord.  He has given us guidance and instructions many months ago that apply to us and our situation right now.  We are so blessed.  I am so thankful for the blessings of serving this short mission with Wayne, he is a wonderful man.  Wayne knew we would be going home before the prophet made the announcement that all missionaries would be returning to their home towns.  The blessings of serving have been wonderful but brief.  We're so thankful for the blessings of being temple missionaries in the Arequipa Temple and so happy that this adventure will be one we'll always remember.  

 Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz was spot on when she said,
"there's no place like home."

We are HAPPY!