It’s been 730 days, 104 emails, 4 hours of phone calls, a swine flu scare, earthquake worries, flooding concerns, a mugging, and a flight delay, but he is home!!!
Dusty arrived on Friday afternoon with three other returning missionaries – two of which were from his mission. The four families made quite the display at Sky Harbor, but who cares?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in his talk entitled “The Hands of the Fathers” spoke of a moment ‘almost too sacred to mention’ when Heavenly Father welcomed home is holy Son, Jesus Christ, when his early ministry was complete. That moment at the airport was the closest thing I have ever experienced to that incredible reunion. What a blessing it has been to have him serve honorably, and what a blessing it is to have him home.
Seeing HOME through his eyes is incredible, and teaches us great lessons of how blessed we are to live here in the United States. As he sat on the floor in his room he commented how wonderful it was to sit on carpet again – and having an actual flush toilet. (Don’t get him started on having a hot water heater!)
This morning as we drove to hear one of the other returned missionaries speak in church, he said how good it was to be able to see the mountains around the valley – something that the smog of Mexico City prevented him from doing.
As I write this email, Dusty is sitting playing hymns on the piano, something the he grew to love doing in Mexico. There were many times that he played the piano for his district or for the members of the church. He has grown grateful for all those years of piano lessons. He told us that members of the church would ask him if he was the missionary that plays “Piano Man” and that he wound up playing at church activities his version of Piano Man.
He loved his time among the wonderful people of Mexico, but is happy to be home again.
Thank you for your ongoing support and love.
I will be posting three videos that I made with his photos. Look for an email with links to view these videos. I put them together for his Welcome Home party last night.
It is an amazing testimony to me that a church can thrive by building its missionary force on the backs of 19 year old boys. Think of how counter-intuitive that is! If that was to only testimony that I had of this work that would be enough. But the Lord not only grows the membership of his church, he also grows the next generation of faithful husbands, fathers, and leaders. What a great return on the investment of two years.
John and Judy Howard