Friday, April 20, 2012

the return of elder grant

the main purpose of our visit was to welcome home my little brother! he had been in mexico for the past TWO YEARS (which went by really fast, until i saw his little face -- which isn't so little anymore -- and realized that two years is actually a loooooong time) serving as a missionary for our church.

on thursday, april 12 we packed up the entire fam, some balloons, a few posters and a whole lot of excitement and headed to the airport to plant ourselves in the closest possible spot to flight arrivals.

passengers started filing down the stairs and we were all giggling like nervous little schoolgirls and then there he was!

with his new girlfriend! nah, just kidding. he just made a friend on the plane, good little missionary.

he looked mostly the same. just older and cuter. and still short ;) i feel bad for taking all the tall genes in my family.

this was when grant met jack for the first time! if you'll recall, i was 5 months pregnant when grant left on his mission, so he only knew jack through photos. they love each other. [side note: can i get a holla for finally getting my hair highlighted?!? ;) ]

it was such a happy day.

we collected his luggage and went straight to in-n-out. 95% of our conversations for the rest of the day involved iphones. granty has a lot of technology to catch up on! 

he spoke in church on sunday to share some of his experiences in mexico and i was just so proud of my little brother. he's mature and smart and funny and brave. he told a story about meeting a guy, omar, who was a member of one of the big drug cartels in mexico. omar wanted to turn his life around so he started taking lessons from grant and was making so much progress, but the gang told him he could never get out of the life he'd already chosen for himself. one day, grant and his companion showed up to teach omar but he was gone -- his sister said she thought he packed up and left town to try to get away from the gang. a few days later the police found omar dead, hanging from a city bridge -- murdered by fellow gang members. these were the crazy circumstances grant dealt with for two years, just so he could go and teach the people of mexico about the gospel of jesus christ. 

[he DID have a bunch of happy stories too, for the record. and if the comments on his facebook page are any indication of the relationships he made down there, i can say he definitely made a huge, positive impression on the people he met.]

i'm so glad he is home! especially when he texts me 30 rock quotes in the middle of the day :) [and p.s., my mom's amazing friend kathy came to the airport with us to photo-document the occasion -- all photos above are hers.] yay elder payzant!


Angela and Mike said...

This makes me SO happy. I love it! Welcome home! And, I love your hair. You look gorgeous in all these pictures. What a cute family you have :)

Lauren Packer said...

I have 2 similar experiences in my memory bank. Of brothers coming home from their missions. To that very same terminal (only one was before 9/11, so we got to go to the gate:)). And in 23 short months, I'll add another. Very few things sweeter in life, I say.
Also, I was going to comment on the photog skills. Beautiful!

Lori and Matt said...

yay for brothers coming home! mine got home 9 months ago! your hair looks great and you are a hot mama!

Janessa said...

Clearly NOT the point of your post, but your hair looks fabulous! Love the color. I miss you guys and I can't believe little Jack-o is so big!

Brandon and Erica said...

LOVE this post!!! That family of yours is so cute, and Granty is a full-blown handsome MAN! Weird!!!!! I almost cried seeing the picture of the two of you hugging. So sweet. And I love the pic of Jack and Grant meeting...."Jack, here is what you will look like in 20 years."

YAY for you guys to have everyone together again!


Brittany Karford Rogers said...

Welcome home, Granty!

I can't believe how big Jack is getting . . .

The Mid Life Guru said...

Great job writing about this momentous event. It makes me cry every time I read it (and I read it a lot!!) Love you!!!