AZ to NZ – My two homes.

On this day two years ago, my mission for; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was coming to an end. Saying goodbye to the people I taught and served was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I had become attached but I was grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve in such a beautiful place (Arizona) with such beautiful people who changed my life forever.

I remember vividly, it was P-Day. Hermana Hernandez curled my hair for me the sweetie and I still have the scar she gave me hahahaha just kidding. I met up with my favourite sisters; Hermana Greene one of my best friends and Hermana Guiterrez my baby (mission term for; trainer to trainee). I was one of the last mohicans left from the group of Spanish missionaries I served with.

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I got to the mission office said my goodbyes to everyone else and hugged my fellow Kiwi girl; Sister Tehei on the way to the mission home as we embarked for the scary but exciting journey ahead of us.

We spent the rest of the night at the mission home with the rest of the departing missionaries and our Mission President; President and his wife; Sister Jenkins. We bore our testimonies and shared experiences from the past 18 months – 2 years it was a sad feeling to know I’d never be able to do this again.

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Going home after 18 months of not seeing my family was a little terrifying for me. It sounds dramatic but I had almost forgotten what it was like to be in New Zealand and be with my family. I felt like a completely different person so I was scared that it would be a weird adjustment and that I might have to start from scratch.

We had been on the plane for hours and then the captain finally said over the microphone in his thick New Zealand accent “prepare the cabin for landing”. I squeezed Sister Teheis hand and closed my eyes, my heart was racing so fast and my baby sisters face popped into my mind, I was comforted and overwhelmed by my emotions I couldn’t hold back the tears in my eyes. I was home.

We landed in Auckland but it wasn’t the end of the journey for me. I still needed to catch a connecting flight; home to Rotorua, so Sister Tehei and I separated at arrivals where she met up with her family, man I was envious. As I walked out the doors of the arrivals, this lady was sitting in arrivals staring at me, she looked familiar but I thought I was probably just seeing things then I looked back, It was my mother! and then I looked a head and there was my baby sister waiting at the end of the row of people smiling at me. As I got to her, I just squeezed her and I couldn’t believe she was real and I could hold her again. I was shaking uncontrollably it was so surreal, I’d never felt anything like that before!

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We finished off with a short flight home where I saw the rest of my family who were all in one piece, All I can say is; Heavenly Father kept his promise!

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