Friday, November 11, 2016

Our Bags are Packed We're Ready to Go

October 1, 2016, that's the day we left Upolu.  Our bags were packed several days before and we were ready to go on that day.

But we couldn't leave without saying goodbye to our sweet neighbors the Vellingas' (Sister Vellingas is going to take care of Gwen), Sister Fata (Elder Fata is always away on Chruch assignment, the Spencers and Gwen the cat.

 Theron, Sister Fata, Sister Linda Spencer, Elder George Spencer and Sister Gillette.
Gwen the cat.
Gillettes came about noon and we picked up Ellsworths and traveled to the small airport.
 No more roaming for us for a while!!!

Glad to arrive a little early, we only had to open every suitcase and shift weight around, but we finally made everything work.  Only 4 suitcases going home.  I packed a lot of those 18 month skirts and shirts and Sister Gillette was going to give them away for me.  I just couldn't stand wearing them one more day.

It was a melancholy time at the airport standing around waiting and talking with the Gillettes and Ellsworths.  We were torn between worlds-really wanting to stay and really wanting to go.  It's always bitter sweet.


The plane ride to Tutuila was very uneventful our last little 35 minute ride across the ocean.  The one good thing about this ride was that we arrived there on September 30, 2016, which gave us the opportunity to arrive in Salt Lake on the same day as we left.

This was our longest wait and we are grateful for the Jordans who helped us drive around and see some people we wanted to say good-bye to like Joanne in the Service Center.  We had a great dinner with Jordans and the couple who will be serving in Manua for three years.  That is going to be one lonely time on a small, small island.

At 10:30 p.m., we entered the waiting area for Hawaiian Air travel to Hawaii the first leg of our journey home.  The ambien was helpful on this short 5.5 hour flight through the night.  Customs was a breeze to get through and the change of airlines to Alaska Air was easy.  We left about 8:00 a.m. from Hawaii to Seattle.  We arrived in Seattle just in the nick of time to run and catch our plane to Salt Lake.

Stepping off the plane in Salt Lake, Theron changed to his E'a so he looked Samoan when we met the family.  We walked down the stairs and there they were - all the men were in lava lavas.  Ali ran up to hug us; how tender!!!!  What a joy to see our kids again, our grandchildren, and my brother Dawain and sister-in-law Jana with their newly married daughter Alison and her new husband.  Family is so important!!!!  Family is so wonderful!!!!!  My island fever left.

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