After serving faithfully and well, our daughter Alison came home from her mission on Oct 22, 2014.

I had missed her sooooo much! I had sent 2 boys on missions and had learned that each mission comes with its own set of trials and circumstances. I learned that you worry about different things with each child. You wonder how they will deal with the wide variety of obstacles or life events. You wonder if you have taught them enough, if their testimony is strong enough, if they will be safe.

While Alison was gone, I learned that you worry about completely different things for your girls than you do your boys. I also learned that with Alison, I didn’t need to worry about much! She has always been a wonderful girl, a joy to have in our home. Her personality is calm and peaceful, she has a big heart, she is an obedient child and has always had a desire to do whatever her Father in Heaven wants her to do. So while I worried about how she was eating and if she was safe, I never worried about what she might or might not be doing. I never worried about whether or not she was being obedient to mission rules or doing the work she went there to do. That was a mighty blessing in my life! The only hard part about her serving a mission was how much I missed her. Boy howdy did I miss her! I wanted to hold her, to talk to her, to look at her face. But finally the day came that she was coming home and we were excited!

We picked her up at the St George airport. We had picked up the boys at the Las Vegas airport and we hadn’t found it to be a very positive experience. The culture shock from being a full time missionary to being in Vegas with all the billboards and slots and, well, yuck, was very hard on them and made the rest of us very uncomfortable for them. Plus you have to wait by the baggage carousels and it’s noisy and smelly and crowded and well, I just didn’t really like it. So we opted for St George this time around.

The St George airport is very small, very uncrowded, very pleasant indeed!

We arrived about 30 minutes before her plane was due. We had a good chunk of the family there with us, all that was able to take time off from work, we had 2 of the grandkids too. We rode up to the second floor on the elevator, “alligator” in Brookes language, to the lounge they call the loft. For the most part we were the only ones there and that was very nice. We watched several small planes come in and land while we waited and it kept the little ones greatly entertained. Then came Alison’s plane. We watched it land, we watched the stairs come down, and then it became a terrible decision making time of, do we watch her come out of the plane or do we run downstairs and hug her first???? Jessica went straight down to hug, I wanted so badly to see her that I was torn between watching her deplane and going down to hug her. I had several seconds of being completely frozen with indecision!!

Ultimately I ran for the elevator and as the door closed I heard Brooke yell, I see her, I see her!!

I got out of the elevator in time to see Alison Being hugged tightly by her big sister Jessica, and then the tears started flowing for all of us. I had to finally break them up just so I could hug my baby girl! We cried for a bit, then I reluctantly let her go so that all the others could have big hugs too.

IMG_20141022_122727_207 She had been traveling all day, she was very tired and her emotions were all over the place, but there was still a great big smile on her face. She was glad to be home and glad to see her family.

She had worked hard, she had served with all that she had. She had come home with no regrets, no shoulda’s, she was able to come home and begin to look forward to the next stage of her life. She has grown so much, she was always wonderful, but she came home fantastic!

We are grateful for her service, we are grateful for her testimony, we are grateful for her faith and her love for all of God’s children, and right now we are very grateful to have her home!!