Today is the ten year anniversary of the day I came home from my mission. That was a fun adventure! I actually left the mission I was serving in on June 18th 1998. There was me and one other elder, Elder Michael Martineau from Snowflake, flying to AZ. We flew together, I think with some other missionaries, from the Washington D.C. Dulles airport to Saint Louis. There we were supposed to connect to Phoenix after a couple hour layover. Well, that couple hours turned into many hours which turned into a few more hours. Our flight's pilot was coming in on another plane from Chicago and there were heavy winds keeping planes gounded there. So they couldn't just give the flight to another pilot or something we had to wait for that specific pilot. Anyway, after actually getting on the plane and waiting another three hours in our seats, they canceled the flight altogether. Now I was freaking out b/c I had not had any part in purchasing this ticket; that was done by the church. Not to mention that I was hanging out with an elder who happened to be a boy which was uncomfortable in a way. Luckily he was there, b/c he just took matters into his own hands. We walked all over this airport until we found the customer service desk. This was at about midnight. They told us that they could put us on a flight on another airline the next morning. Then they said that we could use this hotel voucher for the night. Awkward. We were like, "We won't be needing that." Then we went to the gate where our flight in the morning was going to be. They said we could not even check in until about three hours before the flight was supposed to board at 7:00 or 8:00 the next day. We did find a pay phone and I also luckily had my address book in my carry on b/c I figured that our families would want to know what was going on. So I called my brother's house. Since he lived right there in Mesa, I thought they might have gone back to his house to wait. They had. I told them the new flight info etc. Then it was just waiting. I think both of us we uncomfortable with sleeping with the other one around. So luckily I had a "Missionary: Impossible" board game in my carry on. So we played that for hours. Then I finally had to close my eyes. I slept on one of those benches with three or four seats with arm rails in between each one. So I was all curved around this arm rail. It was only about two hours but not the best sleep ever. Plus I was conscious of this elder not sleeping over there. He actually stayed awake the whole time. When I woke up we were able to check in even though there was still about two hours before the flight would leave. I went to the bathroom and washed my face and fixed my hair if you could call it that. We got on the plane. We actually flew to our destination. We landed. We waited until the very last ones to get off the plane. Our families worried. Then they cried and took pictures (don't know where they are). We had to find our luggage which was another ordeal. We drove home and I slept for the rest of the day. I was happy to be home. That night I was released as a full-time missionary. The moral of this story was "never fly TWA." But it has since gone bankrupt...so the new moral of the story is "if it has to do with Monica...its going to be chaotic." I think I need a present or something for surviving ten years after such an experience. It is afterall an anniversary!
8 years ago