December 11, 2015
Coming home from my mission.
Woke up in the mission home in Le Vesinet at 4:30am the Assistants picked us up in the car it was Elder Lattin and Elder McBride. They took us directly to the airport where they parked and helped us in. We were already in line just for checkin and they had has interviewed etc... We payed for our second bag 85 euros, then it was on to security. So the assistants who held our carry ons while we were checking in said their last good byes and left. We waved them good bye until out of sight. We looked at eachother (Soeur Katherine Bell) and then we stepped across the line into what was the security hall. There was no going back now. We chatted our way accorss the airport excited to see the families again, and honestly be done with the mission, it was hard, and we were exausted. Then when it was my turn for security i went through the mechine but was wearing 3 layers which showed i had a lot of bulk, so the woman pulled me aside and I had to get patted down. But then soon enough we were on our way to the terminal. We had a little bit until boarding so I went to Paul and got some Pain au Chocolat for my family, dad had been requesting it for weeks. Then we went to a Relay store and I got some munchies, and water, and a last minute photo of the eiffel tower to use up my extra euros. We got to our gate and there was an african there who i totally think was a prince, we have a pic. Anyway the flight was uber long, but with soeur bell there it made it a lot easier. We talked a lot, I read my soeur book entries, and we made goals for ourselves. It was pretty fun. We watched some disney movies like Mulan, Pocohontas, and Inside Out. We were fed 3 meals, and tons of drinks. It was nice. We finally landed in Atlanta and it was pretty easy that we got through customs. They re took our luggage, and everything worked out easily. We then had about 2.5 hours together until our next flights. We went and ate at Chick-fil-a, it was sooooo good. Then we just kinda walked around the airport looking at stuff, I got to call my mom and tell her I had landed and was waiting for the next flight. Soeur Bells flight finally started to board. I still had another hour until boarding after hers. We said our goodbyes, and hugged one last time. I love her so much. Then I left I started walking really slowly, and got super lonely in all of 2 seconds, but the Lord provieds, right then an Elder walks out and we see eachother, and said hi and started talking. He was going home too from South America to Utah. We chatted for a bit, then finally my plane was boarding. I got on and I was sitting right next to this really nice older couple who were coming back from their carribian cruise. She was super sweet to me. The plane ride was a rough one though. The row behind us was crazy. The guy kept on asking for more drinks. The flight attendents were getting really frustrated. And the woman who was with him was just super rude. It was so long and I had no headphones, so i just watched some of the same disney films with no sound. Then the last two hours I just started getting super sick. We hit turbulance and it was rough. My stomach was already turning and my body was just incredibly tired after staying up for 24 hours straight. So I prayed harder than I have in a long time asking God to keep me together then I dont know how, but we landed. It was the greatest day of my life. I went immediately to the bathroom and had the runs. haha. Then I walked out, and there was my parents holding a big banner saying “welcome home ashley!” it was super cool. I hugged my parents and we all cried. We got my bags easily and headed out of the airport. We talked all the way along in the car, dad and mom got Jack in the box for dinner. We headed straight to the church where I got to meet the Stake President. He asked me a couple questions, then had my parents come in and we talked about the after shock of coming home, and what that could mean to me. How they could help keep me invlolved. He thanked me for my service, and then released me from my calling. I removed my plaque. I cried.
Then pulled myself together said goodbye, and headed home. There awaited me Susan, Adam, and Casey. They came and gave me a good welcome home hug and we talked all about the mission. Then they left, and we went to bed.
I made some short term goals on the plane, when I was with Soeur Bell. Just about keeping busy, and trying to fit in with everyone.
I guess I know what my long term goals already are. Being who I am, and growing. Keeping my spirituality, and growing my testimony. Continuing to progress. I know how. I know I can do it. I know a lot more now, but I also realize there is a world to discover. My long term goal is to remember the big picture. “be willing at any moment to sacrafice what you are for what you can become”