This weekend we drove up to Salt Lake City to see AJ one last time. The weather was not great -- but it could have been much worse. It rained and was cold but we were lucky to not have any snow. We planned to stop in Provo and catch a glimpse of AJ at the temple on Sunday. He said they generally go out from 3-3:45. We arrived early, shortly after 2 p.m. and waited and watched lots of missionaries coming and going. Then the 3:00 hour came and still no AJ. We waited until a little after 4 p.m. and then gave up. We figured he didn't want to come out in the bad weather or had a meeting to attend or something.
Turns out he chose to stay in. He heard that someone was sent home for meeting family in the parking lot and he didn't want to risk it. Always following the rules!
Monday we headed to the airport with hopes for another shot at a short visit with AJ. We arrived shortly after 11:30 a.m. and found the terminal where he needed to check in. Then we waited and waited. The missionaries arrived about 1:30 p.m. Finally!!!!
We were so excited to see the big blue bus pull up with all the missionaries. I am pretty sure AJ was the tallest kid on the bus -- he was easy to pick out of the crowd. Dallas ran over and hugged him first. The rest of us waiting patiently while he gathered his luggage and made his way over to where we were.
All the missionaries had to get in line and check their luggage all the way through to the final destination. Lucky for us this was a VERY SLOW process and so we got to visit for quite awhile. We met Elder DeYoung, AJ's companion and Sister Martinez and Sister Watkins. We also met Sister Lyman. They were all very nice and it was fun getting to know them a little.
It was almost 3 p.m. by the time they finally all got their luggage checked and at that point they all had to hurry and make their flight. It was a very special happy time and it was so good to be part of his experience. There were no tears, just happy excitement all around.
AJ's trip started in Salt Lake shortly after 3 p.m. with about a 2 hour flight to Los Angelos, California. There they had a 6 hour lay-over. (He got to call and talk to us again!!!!) Then he went from Los Angelos to Hong Kong, a 16 hour flight. Then another 2 hour layover. On another flight to Manila, Phillippines and then a bus ride of perhaps 10 hours was what he was told. He is crossing the international date line and I think it was going to be 2 days later when he finally arrives due to time changes.
I can only imagine how tired they will all be!!! We are anxiously awaiting to hear that he has safely arrived but I guess we'll have to wait awhile...we think he may be in Manila at this point.
We are very thankful we got to spend some time with AJ -- it was a special experience for our family.
Wish you well AJ!