Monday, August 25, 2014

And he made it!

We were excited to welcome Elder Whitaker home from his two-year mission in Angola. So excited, I guess, that it took a while to get the camera settings correct. But that's just indicative of the whirlwind of activities that we packed into his first 24 hours home.
At first I was concerned he would even make it back on time, because his flight from London was delayed for 1 1/2 hours, and he only had 2 1/2 hours to clear customs, reclaim his bags, and make his connecting flight. Well, we got our miracle, and he made it. (One of his suitcases didn't, but it was delivered the next day.)
The two years have passed the slowest for Michelle. She's super happy to have her big brother back. Brad and his family made the trip down from Atlanta to say hi as well.

We went straight from the airport to the stake president's home where he was released, and then it was time to bring him home.
The local wildlife was even waiting there to greet him!
It's interesting to see what each missionary deems the most important thing to share first as they unpack. When he left, the front of this tie was the same shade and color as the back!
The next morning was spent at the clubhouse, where ex-Elder Steven enjoyed working out on real exercise machines with Michelle, and the rest of us went swimming with Brooke.
She willingly went underwater for the first time!

What a gorgeous day! (And we had another little miracle where the approaching storm that was threatening to close the pool turned and allowed us to stay.)
When Dad got home it was time for a trip to the temple.
While there we were able to complete 55 family file sealing cards. What a wonderful experience!

 
We still love our gorgeous little temple, and would love to share it with you!
When asked which restaurant he was most interested in eating at, Steven's answer was Burger King. Since that's part of our typical after-the-temple routine, it was easy to fulfill that request. Although nothing like Angolan hamburgers, (which include things like crushed potato chips, shredded carrots, sliced ham and cheese and an egg!), the hamburger was just as delicious as he hoped!

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