Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cody returns from his mission in Kiribati

IT'S TIME.......

It is still amazing that his 2 years have gone by so fast.  Cody returned to the US on Tuesday, July 11 after about a 50 hour trip.  As much as I wanted to see him I also wanted his immediately family to be there alone to welcome him home.  I also didn't want to just hear him talk in church with a slew of extended family present, all rejoicing his return.  So Robert and I drove down on the next day.  I'm going to add a couple pictures from his mission, and the last day he was there.

 Nice transportation...check out the sandals or flip flop. Such hot sun.  Such heat but what a faithful young man.
 Here's Cody in his return to the main mission office, Tarawa.  He sometimes went months without any contact with his mission president.  That's truly trust. There were long months when he served as a branch president...leadership in the ever growing branches as these islanders were so grateful to hear the gospel

Last dinner at the mission home.

 Here are the returning elders.  Someone made them these crowns. Cody's crown made it to Chicago but then just fell apart.
 All the missionaries saying farewell, to the faithful ones who were returning home.

 The mission Cody was called to was called The Marshall Islands, Kiribati but just before he returned home, this mission got it's own name....The Kiribati Mission. Good thing, too, since Cody never stepped foot on the Marshall Islands.

 This is the best picture, posted by his mission president's wife.  It's
Cody and another elder, kissing the tarmac of the island as they begin to board.  I love it that the islanders and missionaries are standing behind the gate, looking through the bars...and in shadow.  Certainly  could represent how it must feel to be in spirit prison, waiting for the gospel to come to them.

Here's his very used up sandals at the front door as he returned to his house/home.

It was so enjoyable to hear his stories and see him!  We looked at his pictures as well as a few videos he had sent home with a running narrative from him.  What an amazing mission!  What courage and faithfulness.

Some friends of Cara went to the airport and filmed Cody's arrival with still pix as well as videos.  Cara, Jacob and the kids were watching down the hallway, anxiously awaiting the first glimpse of Cody.  When Cara saw him pass the secure area she elbows her way through the kids who were in front of her and raced to embrace her son.  Finally, after the kids had their hugs, the hug Jacob gave his son was long and strong.  And then he took Cody by the hand and it was time for them to go home.

When Cody walked through the gates to his family he took one look at Sam and said, "You're massive" and then stood side by side to discover Sam was taller than he was.  Very cute.

We were able to be with Cody when he got his brand new iPhone 7 and a few new items of clothing so he can relax while at home as well as be ready for BYU.

We stayed til Friday morning and then left for Michigan.  It was time for Cody to have a few days with just his family and remeeting old friends.

Thanks so much to Cara and Jacob who allowed us to come down at this very tender first day with their son home.  Feeling what I felt, I realized why my mom tried so hard to not die of the cancer that was eating her until she could see Jordan come home. It wasn't to be for her but at least I could be there for Cody.  I want to think my mom saw Jordan home, and watched over Cody.  I would do the same if I die before all my grands return with honor as Cody has done.  

Oh, and by the way, Ella told me she plans on serving a mission as soon as she finishes her senior year. She turned 18 last month so that's exactly how it will play out.

While Sam and Peter went to the National BSA Jamboree in Tennessee, Cara and Cody went to the temple.

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