|We were so grateful to receive this wonderful|
photo of Mom & Dad on at the hospital on our
last day in the Philippines!
|We have grown accustomed to the pogi sign|
when taking pictures in the Philippines (ha)
We had breakfast plans, but I knew there was no way we would be ready in time to sit down for breakfast before making our shuttle to the airport. Jordan has not worn a suit jacket and slacks since departing the Mission Training Center. His suit was hung up at the mission home upon his arrival and was handed to him on October 22nd, two years later. It was pretty wrinkled, so we had it cleaned and pressed. Jordan probably did not need to wear it to the airport (in the Manila humidity), but he did. As we began towards the airport, Jordan said: “So, my mission is really over. Wow.” It is hard to believe.
|Waiting to board our flight to Seoul at the Manila airport|
We arrived at the airport three hours early, thinking it would be crowded for Filipino All Saints Day (November 1st holiday). However, the airport was relatively empty. (The big rush was apparently yesterday.) There was no line at Korean Air, and no line for security (there are two security areas - once when you enter the airport and another when you enter the terminate once you have received a boarding pass). We grabbed something to eat at the airport, found some free WiFi and tried to get more updates about Mom, then exchanged our pesos. It was nice to have American money again, since I had such a difficult time relating to (and understanding) the value of a peso vs. a dollar. After arriving at the gate, Jordan called Pink (because he had some minutes left on the SIM card we bought upon arrival). So, we got to speak with Pink one last time. We also got through to Kelli, which was nice, as Jordan got to speak to her briefly.
|The flight home from Seoul was great!|
The flight from Seoul to Las Vegas was only 10 hours in the air (we lost 16 hours in flight, however). Not bad. It was difficult to do much of anything other than watch really lousy airplane movies. Sleeping upright is just not our thing, so there was little napping for any of us. My goal changed from sleeping on the plane to staying awake so I could just go to bed at a normal hour upon our return to Las Vegas to bypass the whole jet lag thing. As our plane arrived in the Las Vegas Valley and began to prepare for landing, I watched Jordan looking out the window from his center seat. He stayed focus on the city below up until we landed.
|The Las Vegas from the air looks much different from the Philippines - here, Jordan soaks it all in as he|
contemplates post mission life
|Maralea and Jordan wait to collect our baggage at|
McCarranAirport in Las Vegas
|Bishop Flagg and Kathy were leading the Jordan|
cheering section (Bishop Flagg is everyone's biggest cheerleader!)
|Jordan holding my favorite sign (just cracked me up)|
Three Royal missionaries: Brad, Jordan and David via Face Time
together at the airport
|Jordan here sees nephew Beckham (far left) for the first time since Beckham was one month old, and meets nephew Royal (crying on Kelli's left shoulder) and Zoe (with Maralea) for the first time|
|The family back together (with Brad holding up David who here poses via Face Time)|
|Four of a kind! (Four Royal aces in Las Vegas makes for a pretty|
good hand. Here Kelli, Brad and Jordan, with David via Face Time)
|It was a long journey, but we finally are back home and together with the fam!|
|Jordan and Kelli share a hug|
|Jordan busts through the poster (a family RM tradition)|
|Returning & Reporting|
|Jordan signed the plates in 2004 and 2009.|
His signature yesterday signified successful fulfillment of his commitment to the Lord
|We have loved the tradition of signing the missionary|
commitment plates for each of our sons
|Mom is smiling, talking, walking and|
eating well. She'll join us home soon!
As for Mom, we were advised that she is being released from the hospital tomorrow and that she will rest at a hotel in the area near the hospital for a couple days before returning to Las Vegas. Reports are that she has been eating, walking on her own power, and that the sight in her right eye is intact (even improving - as the tumor was putting pressure on her optic nerve, adversely impacting her vision). We all acknowledge the great miracle of Mom’s surgery and recovery and are feeling exceptionally blessed as a family. It will be nice for Mom and Dad to reunite with Jordan next week, along with other Las Vegas family members. Jordan must now focus on the next chapter of his life, such as education, employment and marriage (and not necessarily in that order). We express gratitude for President and Sister Martino for their loving service in the Philippines Angeles Mission, and for so loving our son (along with all the other missionaries who have served or are serving there). It has been a great two years!
|Brad signed the plates, too (first in 2002, then upon his return home from the Philippines Angeles Mission in September 2005). We loved being able to display these great symbols of faith made possible by the Las Vegas Warm Springs Stake|
|Plates of faith. Go forth to serve well. Return with honor. (Royal family cheer)|