Coming Home was quite a sweet moment. I landed in the Salt Lake City at about 2pm and all my friends and family were waiting at the end of the escalator. I took my time to prepare myself emotionally and mentally before going down. I was about to see my friends and family after 18 months of limited contact with them. My mom screamed as soon as she saw my feet. Hahaha! She made me laugh! I came down and I did find the surprise that it was really hard to recognize people after so much time. Lots of family from both sides came and it was fun to see the change that had happened. I had a few friends come greet me home as well. I sure loved it! So happy to be with the people I love again.
Adjusting to Utah was a bit weird for me. Here are a few things that I noticed at first; It is so flat here because there are no skyscrapers. The mountains actually seem quite small as in Hong Kong they are super steep and cover a small amount of land yet are so tall. It is really dry in Utah and I have to use lotion all the time. It is annoying. My hair isn’t as pretty or curly like it was in HK but at least I can style it the way I want to:) I guess as I continue to adjust I will find more things that surprise me. Oh, also white people are HUGE! I noticed it in the Seattle airport. Kind of freaked me out a little bit.
My Homecoming talk was a week or so after I returned home which I really liked because then I could adjust to Utah and life here a bit more. I split my Homecoming up into 2 days. Saturday night I had party for those who needed to travel and for those who would stay home the next day and celebrate Sunday with their families as it was Mother’s Day. I gave my talk on May 10, 2016 at 9:00am in the Oakhills Ward in Layton, Utah.
Saturday night was really fun. I had lots of people from the family and the ward show up. It was great to see so many familiar faces. Nikki Christensen, Courtney Lowder, Megan Short, Hanna Gold and a few other friends from High School came and it was great to catch up with them. Most of my friends from High School are still on missions so I wasn’t expecting a very big turn out from that part of my social life.
Hannah Sharp and Megan Cook from my mission showed up too and I was so happy to see people from Hong Kong. I loved talking to them and introduced them to my High School friends. I was actually really hoping that my companion Sister Biz Warner would be there but she said she was unable to make it. I was kind of bummed but thought I would just drive down to Provo to visit her later that week before heading back to China. Well, it turns out she had plans of her own. I was downstairs talking with all my friends and then dad told me to go upstairs and that someone else was wanting to see me. I turned the corner to the stairs and guess who was there?!?! Biz!! Ahhh!!! I wanted to pee and cry and scream all at the same time. She totally surprised me and I loved it! I did NOT expect that at all! It made me so happy. Krista Hansen was there with Biz too and it was double awesomeness! Needless to say it was a super happy and exciting night catching up with friends from High School, ward members and my mission friends too. I hadn’t seen Biz in almost a year since she has come home and it was the highlight of that party. I am still secretly screaming as I am writing this journal entry. Hahaha! 🙂
Sunday was super happy too. I was able to see some friends and family who couldn’t make it to the night before. Some great people came and supported me. I was to talk on the 3rd Article of Faith. I was super lost about the topic and wasn’t sure what I was supposed to say. I honestly didn’t think much about it. I felt that the Spirit would help me know what to say. All I knew was that I was going to talk about Leung Popo, A-Pui and Ken and how their obedience to the gospel and faith in the Atonement has helped them. It was a great meeting and the Spirit was so strong! I don’t think I looked much at my outline of my talk. I just kind of let the Spirit do all the talking. I noticed that lots of people were crying in my talk. I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. After my Homecoming talk was given Baylee Coleman performed a violin musical number and it was so cute! She did awesome! The meeting was just perfect and I really felt great about my talk. I still don’t remember much as to what I shared and talked about. Mom said that the Spirit was super strong and that she could tell even more that I loved my mission and that I was a great missionary. Talking to all the people that came and supported me they said about the same thing. I just bore my heart out. I know that the Spirit guided me as to what I was to say. At the end of my talk I bore my testimony in Cantonese because I knew that people would want to hear it. The only person that could understand was my previous companion, Sister Danielle Nuttall. She came and was so cute! I love her! She talked to me in Cantonese and it made me so happy. I miss it more that I would have thought.
Overall, I had a great Homecoming experience. I have enjoyed being home and with my family but I still miss my mission just about everyday. I love it and it will always have a place in my heart. But for now I am on to the next adventure…Returned Missionary Status. Bum Bum Bummm… Wish me luck? 😉
Also, I forgot to mention that the day that I got home Jake also received his mission call. It was supposed to come home the week before but I prayed super hard so that I could be there for when he opens his call. He ended up getting his call the DAY I got home. Only hours before I landed. The Lord really does care about us even for the smallest of things. Jake decided to open up his call just after I was released as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was very sweet and simple. He cried throughout almost the whole thing. He is such a sweet boy. He was been called to serve in the Antananarivo Madagascar Mission, reporting August 3rd speaking Malagasy. I am super excited for him and he will love his mission. I did not see that coming. The Lord really does call you where you need to go.