Monday, June 08, 2009

My Last Week at Home

The flight home from my mission was still a huge novelty for me since the only time I'd ever been on an airplane was when I flew to Belgium at the beginning of my mission. It was a bit of a let down though since I flew on a 747 from Brussels to JFK and from JFK to Calgary I was on a 727 and it seemed so small compared to the 747. The real eye opener was from Calgary to Lethbridge I was on a small prop plane and it was quite scary compared to the big jets. If I'd been on the puddle jumper first it would have been exciting. It was so wonderful to see my family waiting for me at the Lethbridge airport. When we arrived home there was a box on our back door step and in the box was everything that I had ever given Maurine. I had no expectations about what my relationship with Maurine would be once I got home but I was surprised (and a bit embarrassed) to see the box of stuff. She wrote me quite regularly during the first half of my mission but almost not at all during the second half. When I saw the box with everything I'd ever given her the message seemed clear to me. In her mind we were done. I wasn't overly upset because it had been two years and I was so busy that after a few months I thought of nothing but the work that needed to be done. I saw Maurine on the street once when I was driving so I stopped and said hi. She chewed me out for not calling her so I guess that meant that she did want to be friends and I was glad about that. We did hang out a bit and I remember even singing a duet with her in church on one of my weekends home. Maurine was an important part of my life and even though I haven't seen her in twenty years I still consider her a good friend.

That first night laying in bed all alone was so strange. I hadn't been alone in my entire life. Growing up it was always Lester and I. At college I had a room mate and on my mission it was always me and my companion.

Everything was very strange for me. In some ways it felt like I had never left and my entire mission was only a dream but at the same time everything was different. One of the reasons it was so different is that Lester was now on his mission in Uruguay and that felt strange to me. The other thing is that I had absolutely nothing to do. I arrived home late in August just a few days before classes started. It had always been my plan to go back to BYU but Mom really wanted me to go closer to home and she had done all the work to get me enrolled at the U of A. I never thought much about it then but thinking back I am so grateful that she did all of that.

With the time being so short I only had time to give a talk in my home ward (Carston First Ward) and another talk in Leavitt Ward. I also hiked with Tom Crooks up Old Chief Mountain. We didn't know where any trails were so we just drove up the highway until it looked like we were about as close as we could get and then we started walking. It was one of my most favorite and memorable hikes. I love old Chief Mountain and when ever I see it I get a lump in my throat. I'd seen that mountain in the distance pretty much every day of my life since I was born. Kira actually took this picture for me. If you have a great imagination you can see that the mountain sort of looks like the face of an Indian laying on his back. The edge on the left is his chin and the sloping right side is his headdress. One of the bumps on top is supposed to be his nose. I seem to remember that a big chunk fell off the mountain years ago so it doesn't look as good as it used to. Even though it is actually in Montana it has always meant home to me. With little more than a week at home I packed my bags and it was off to school for me. It seemed like such a rip off that after having been gone for so long I was only able to be at home for a week. As it turned out, it was my last week ever living at home.

An ancient copper mine in Southern Jordan has been carbon dated to the tenth century BC which aligns exactly with "Solomons Mines" referenced in the Bible. The data supports the Bible.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Loved this post. Great stories of your life.