Friday, July 21, 2017


We got to the airport in plenty of time, and luckily we did because he got in 20 minutes early.  WOOHOO!  We waited and waited as people came down the escalator.  
Andy was ready with his signs, and so was grandma Munoa
 And Joci was ready with hers.  She had this sign when she met us in Maui.  
 We're ready!
I saw his legs at the top of the escalator and  let out a little scream that echoed.  Oops.
  And I got my hug!  I missed this boy!!
and when we were done Joci yelled, "Can I come hug you now?"
 Grandma's and Grandpa
 Sister Christensen served with Jake and came home on a different flight. 
 Jen, Mark, and Joci
 Jake was very ready to drive.  He drove us to Taco Bell then home.  He missed this.
 When I asked him what kind of food he wanted he said Taco Bell.  
 Ali, and Ryan and Lori and all their family met us there.  

We've waited for this day for 2 years.  And are so glad to have our boy home.  His mission blessed our family in many ways.  We feel closer as a family.  My kids are closer, and get along better.  We have more love for the people in Brazil and are so grateful for those who have shared pictures, and stories.  We love President and Sister Louza and are so grateful for the love they show their missionaries and especially Jake.  He has learned so much from them. We are thankful that Jake served an honorable mission, did his best, and served our Lord with all his heart.  

Layover in Atlanta

When Jake's release date changed from June 6 to July 18 we were a little heartbroken.  Marte and Josh would be at the National Jamboree, and Malena would be in Tonga.  Neither trip could be cancelled or rescheduled.  It also meant we wouldn't be able to go to Brazil and fetch Jake.  Marte was especially having a hard time with not being home when our missionary came home.  So, we hatched a plan while sitting in Applebee's.  Marte and Josh would surprise Jake on his layover in Atlanta.  Jake had 2 hours.  We planned, and planned, cleared it with the Scout Master, got plane tickets, a hotel for a few hours, and reserved cars to pick them up and get them back and forth and back to the scout group.  We didn't tell Jake any of this.  We prayed and prayed that it would work out, that no planes would be delayed, and that Jake would get thru customs quickly. And then the day was here.  It was the perfect day for Marte and Josh to leave the scout group.  Touring was over, and the group would just be traveling on a bus for 4 hours that day to a hotel and doing laundry while waiting to go into the Jamboree the next day.  On July 18th, they woke up in Ohio and their bus was broke.  The group waited for a new bus to come to take them to the church history sites.  Because they waited they missed a few of their sites and were running a little late all day.  At 3:00 they were suppose to meet their car at the Kirkland Temple Visitors Center. But they were at a different place because of the delays.  Larry Gelwix, who is the travel agent for their trip (and the famous Highland rugby coach from the movie Forever Strong) offered to give them a ride back.  On the drive he asked them what they were doing and their plans, then told them why it wouldn't work.  They would miss Jake at the international terminal.  Our plan had been to wait outside the International terminal and surprise him as he came out to check in for his next flight.  Because he was on Delta he didn't have to check back in or come out of the terminal.  there would be trains to take him to his next terminal.  With Larry's advice, Marte and Josh changed their plans and went right to Jake's next terminal.  It was a blessing and tender mercy that the bus broke, that the boys were able to ride and talk with Larry and get a new plan.
And then mom started watching Jake's flight.  There was an estimated time of arrival and it was 40 minutes later then we planned.  Said a quick prayer that all would work out.  1/2 hour later, the time changed and he was landing a few minutes earlier then the original time.  We know this whole crazy plan was being guided by our Heavenly Father.   And we are so grateful it all worked out for Marte and Josh to see him and spend an hour and half with Jake. 

When Jake landed his gate changed, and Marte and Josh didn't know it.  Again their original plan could have caused them to miss him.  They were waiting by the elevators and saw Jake come down.  They set up and waited.  
Jake walking right past Josh who is leaning on the pillar with a inconspicuous magazine.

Jake didn't even see him.  Josh walked right in front of him and knelt down to tie his shoe.  Jake just stood there.  Still not realizing who it was.  Jake said he thought it was just a kid messing around.
Then Josh looks up.  Jake took a step back in shock and starts looking around.  He said he still didn't register that it was really Josh.  He said he thought it was a "man with Josh's face."

Jake realizing what is going on.  He said, "I thought you were going to assault me." haha

And our family picture in Atlanta

Sending him off to Salt Lake City
And he arrived in SL 20 minutes early!!

On His Way Home!

On the way to the airport:  Jake, Elder Pompeu, Elder Jesus Santos, Elder Periera Santos
Elder Jesus Santos
 President Louza, Elder Pompeu