Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Roger and I had the opportunity to go to Japan and pick up Alyssa from her mission. It was one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. Not only did we immerse ourselves in the culture but we were able to catch a small glimpse firsthand of Alyssa as a missionary. We met amazing people and fell in love with those that loved our daughter so much. We watched and felt every heart wrenching goodbye that she had to make in her final days. We witnessed miracles and felt the Lord's hand during our time there. We watched in amazement as our daughter communicated effectively in in Japanese and navigated the crazy streets and trains and cultural barriers. We attended church, parties thrown in her honor, english class, sat in homes and shared meals with humble members, visited ancient cultural sites with new found friends, participated in a ping pong tournament, and tasted our way around Japan. We took the bullet train to Tokyo and shared a spiritual experience attending the temple with her sweet convert Ayaka. The memories we made are just too many to list but it was unforgettable.
As hard as it was to send our daughter away for a year and a half, it was worth every minute. I never imagined how emotional it would be to share that with her in Japan. She grew and changed and became a spiritual giant and an amazing individual. I sent a pretty great daughter out on her mission and came home with someone so much more. I am so grateful to those people that impacted her life so much and for all that she went through to become who she is today. Our Heavenly Father is so wise and so good and knows exactly what we need.
So, here are a few pictures of that sweet moment when we held our daughter once again in our arms. Roger and I miraculously found our way to the mission home and waited in the church offices until she was brought to us. The reunion was amazing.