Home Sweet Home!
Our return journey to America was long and tiring; however, it went as well as could be expected. Originally, since our reservations were made at the last minute, we were not assigned seats together. Several sweet airline attendants arranged a change of seats for us so that we were able to sit together the entire way. On one flight we even had a row of three seats all to ourselves.
Landing in Seattle at 11:30 pm meant that we could not expect a marching band to greet us at the airport. Ryan’s smiling face was enough to make us feel welcome. Once we arrived at his home we were greeted by a banner in the kitchen which they had done for FHE on Monday with a huge ‘Welcome Home’ as well as other messages.
More quickly than we anticipated we were able to purchase the perfect vehicle for us, a Ford Escape. It came complete with all of the bells & whistles that we wanted, good gas mileage, and is fun to drive. For our trip to Ocean Shores we managed to fit all of our six pieces of luggage, miscellaneous other bags and baggage as well as a cart-full of groceries into our new vehicle, affectionately referred to as Ruby. When we finally arrived with our treasures we were happy to find all safe and sound. Our home had been well cared for and the ocean was right where we left it.
Since returning home we have enjoyed time with the children and grandchildren who still live in the area. On our first Sunday there was dinner with Ryan’s and Shelly’s families. The following Saturday there was a family gathering which added Heath’s family to the celebration. Also, we look forward to visiting with the others as soon as we can arrange to travel.
As we traveled home there was time to ponder the future. One thought that came to me was, “Will there ever be missionaries in Ocean Shores?” There had been none in our branch for as long as we had owned our home there. Upon arriving in Ocean Shores we quickly learned that missionaries were coming in a week. The branch was thrilled! An apartment had been located for them and outfitted with furniture and food. Each day more items show up on their doorstep. We too are excited that missionaries will be in our branch. We look forward to being involved with them. After seeing the difference it made in Bulgaria, we are eager to be involved in their teaching appointments. As well as everywhere else, there is an enthusiasm to build centers of strength. We can be of help in this area.
During our service it has been such a privilege to wear the Savior’s name on our name tags. At baptism we covenant to take His name upon us. For eighteen months we literally took His name upon us each morning as we attached our name tags to our lapels. One of the senior couples with whom we associated pointed out that it is a great separator – some are drawn to you and some are drive away. Just as at His return some will be on the left and some on the right as the believers are separated from the unbelievers. On a smaller scale this is true whenever His name is apparent. It was an honor to be His representatives. We will always cherish this special time. We are now looking forward to new opportunities.