Thursday, July 30, 2015

Last Days in Mexico City

In the few days before she came home, we got a few messages and pictures from the Stutzneggers.

June 2, 2015 - We love and cherish your daughter. I had the most wonderful "goodbye" interview with her. She is a chosen young saint! We felt the Spirit, talked about many of her mission blessings, her love of the Savior, and just talked about life. I will dearly miss her.

June 7, 2015 - I have your daughter in my possession!!!!!
They have "left their apartment!"
Gonna miss your sweet daughter! She is truly wonderful as you well know!

The group of 20 missionaries about to return to their homes.

They picked up new missionaries on Monday, and did training and the usual things.  Then the cambios meeting was on Tuesday and all the new companionships were formed and eventually left for their areas. Ward members also come some time in there to say their goodbyes. Finally all that were left were the twenty who were going home.  They had a testimony meeting and spent time together on their last evening in Mexico.  

Hanging out at the Stutzneggers home.

June 9, 2015 - Can I call you?

Pres. Stutznegger called me the night before she came home. He said all the hermanas were there in the house, just talking and doing their final bonding. He just wanted to tell me what a wonderful missionary Hermana Taylor had been and how much they loved her and would miss her.
It really was the sweetest call, and most unexpected. I almost wanted her to stay . . . almost!

In the Mexican outfits they flew home in.

Early morning - all packed and leaving the mission home.

She had some delays before leaving.  Her flights had been changed (I knew this because I entered her flight itinerary into the computer the day before - a tip from a missionary mom - and some of her flights didn't exist.  I talked to Missionary Travel and they told me her new itinerary and assured me that she would have all that information on her end).  Anyway, after some delays, they got it all figured out.  Hermana T was glad for the delays because Pres. Stutz had been off in a different part of the airport, sending off some other missionaries, and it gave him time to get back so they could say their goodbyes.

June 10, 2015 - It was so sad to say goodbye to Her!!! :(
It was painful!!!!

Meanwhile, at home, I was tracking her flights.  This is her first flight that left Mexico City at 6:10am Mexico time, heading for Dallas Fort Worth.
From there she flew to Calgary, and then home to us.

This message came after she had left and they had twelve missionaries still there, waiting for later flight.

June 10, 2015 - So very excited for the Taylors! We are all hanging out at the office with 12 missionaries eating dominĂ³s pizza, soda, and just killing a little time before the last sad trip to the AirPort!

We got the house ready!

Her last flight was supposed to depart at 4:15pm but it didn't actually leave until 6:08pm.  That gave us almost two hours of watching the board and seeing her flight being delayed time after time for another fifteen minutes each time.  We were working on our long suffering, plugging parking meters and getting mighty hungry!!!  The weather was nice though so we spent lots of time outside.  Finally a plane arrived and we were pretty sure it was the one she was supposed to be on, so we videoed it, and it was indeed her plane.  We watched from a distance as she finally came out the doors, down the glass hallway, and into our arms!  Best hugs ever!!!

Katia and Mackenzie ran up for the first hugs.  They were both very emotional and couldn't get enough of their big sister.

Our family together again - so so wonderful!!!

The whole family - and Hermana Taylor finally got to meet Addison!

In the car.  It was so fun to watch her look around, and observe the differences.  She said "Hey, people stop at traffic lights here - they're not just suggestions!" 

We all went to Tony Romas for dinner, along with both sets of grandparents.  The delayed flight changed our plans and we were starving.  Luckily the stake president was able to meet with her later that evening for her release interview, so we could still eat as planned.  These two little sisters did not leave her side! 

The drive home was interesting too as she got very quiet and was just looking around at all the fields and the space.  "Where are the buildings?  Where are the people?" Home was pretty different when compared to the twenty million people in and around Mexico City!

We took her straight to the Stake President for her release, then went to see some local family and finally home.

It has been a pretty long, tiring and emotional day for our sweet girl.  But bed didn't happen until she opened her luggage that weighed a ton and gave us gifts and showed us her Mexican treasures.  She even brought back mole for us to try!!!

When we asked her what she wanted to do the next day, she immediately responded that she wanted to go to the temple.  The Mexico City temple closed for renovations the month she arrived in Mexico and will open in a few months, and she really missed being able to attend the temple.  
So first thing the next morning, we went to our temple.

A month after she got home, I sent a little update about her to the Stutzneggers.  These were their responses:

Sis Stutz: It is hard to tell you how much we miss your daughter! We loved her so much and miss her sweetness, dedication, and smiling face. We will forever be attached to her! Give her a big hug and we so enjoyed hearing about her current adventures! She deserves to marry the very best - so you have to monitor that one for us!! Love you guys!

Pres. Stutz: I want to wear a little medallion also that says, "I can do hard things". I share that saying with my missionaries all the time. I remind them of Hermana Taylor and her strength. Missionaries get so discouraged so fast when things don't go their way.  We truly love "our" Jasmine.  She will always be a part of our hearts. I really cried at the airport saying "goodbye" to her and all the sisters and Elders we got so attached to!! I cheated and hugged your daughter and kissed her on the cheek!!! We miss her!!

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