April 30, 2010, our "mission-release date," came upon us in a rush. It completed 16 1/2 months of rewarding full-time missionary service. Our hearts and memories are crammed full of our experiences in East Lansing, Michigan, as we lived with, taught, socialized with, worshipped with, and loved the young single adults attending Michigan State University, Cooley Law School, Lansing Community College, and various other avenues of higher education. Church members who were not young single adults also had a great impact on our lives. We return to Provo with many friends, some of whom will be our friends forever.
It has now been 19 days since we left East Lansing. Of course, prior to leaving we were in a whirlwind of social activity which we enjoyed very much. We worked so hard to complete all our assignments, packing and loading the car, and preparing to leave our apartment for our successors--we hope there will be successors. We were exhausted and relieved to finally get on the road.
Before starting our trip home, we took four days to travel eastward, We spent time in Kirtland, Ohio, and Palmyra, New York, visiting important church-history sites. We spent a day at Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara lives up to all we have ever heard about it. The trip west allowed a visit to my nephew and his family north of Chicago. And we stopped to see one of our Muncie friends who has moved with her family to Lincoln, Nebraska. Then it was serious driving with stops only for food, gas, and sleep the rest of the way home.
The eleven days we have been home have been crammed full with lots of HARD work reclaiming our home and yard. John pruned a truck-load of excess growth from trees and shrubs. We spent an entire day hauling in mulch and plowing it into our garden and flower beds. We are still not completely unpacked, cleaned, or settled, and it will take time to get where we are satisfied with conditions here.
It has been wonderful to be with friends and family again. (We are going to Erin's this coming weekend--I can hardly wait!) While we loved Michigan and received so much joy from our experiences there, I find myself smiling as I am driving around Utah Valley--it is good to be home!