Thursday night we welcomed another visitor from Germany. Larissa’s mom, Simone, was joining her here in Utah. We were excited, but also a little nervous. What if she got here and met us and said, “THIS is where my daughter has been all year?!” Of course, there’s not much she can do about that NOW, except take her away back to Germany, which is what she’s doing anyway. We were all able to go to the airport, and we were sitting around waiting. Someone came down the hall that looked kind of like Simone, and I said, “Larissa, is that your mom?” She jumped out of her chair and said “YES!” and started walking toward her, then after two steps, said, “NO!” and walked back. It was SO funny, we couldn’t help laughing at her. We waited about 40 minutes before she finally got here, and when she did, there was much hugging.
We picked up her heavy suitcase, and went to help her get her rental car. She and Larissa were just both rambling on in their VERY fast German. I could understand some of it, but I’m a chicken and was speaking English to them. Once they got their car, I went with them, and Ryan took the rest of the kids in the car. I told them they were welcome to just speak German to each other, that I love to listen to it. I also contributed to the conversation, but things were still a bit awkward, but that was to be expected.
When we made it home, it was already after ten, and she had been up for about 22 hours, so we showed her to her room. But before she could get ready for bed, she had some gifts for us (well, mostly just for me, but I do share). A cuckoo clock! I had mentioned that I would love a new cuckoo clock, if that weren’t too much trouble, but I wasn’t expecting that. She also brought us a little mini beer stein, a cute magnet, and plenty of Rittersport chocolate…Yum!
Larissa’s friend, Ashlyn came over quickly to meet her mom, and they made plans to go hiking the next day. I couldn’t get any of my kids to go, and I didn’t want to go either, so it was just three of them hiking somewhere in Alpine. I spent the day cleaning up and then curling my hair and applying a lot of makeup. I had to leave the house about 4:45 to meet my carpool to go up to the Tabernacle for my concert. Ryan brought Simone, Larissa, and the kids (minus Jenna, because she was going to a party) up to Temple Square.
The concert went so well. Seriously, it was the most fun I’ve ever had playing in a concert. Flight of the Bumblebee at 90 miles an hour? So Cool! Now we get a few weeks off from Bells rehearsal since the choir is going on tour, and taking some of the bells with them.
Saturday those Germans went on another hike, and we cleaned up, mowed the lawn, made some pies, and got ready for a party. We invited Larissa’s friends and ward members over to meet her mother and to say goodbye and good luck to her. We made WAY too much food, as there were only about 30 people there, and I had been planning on more. Oh, well. She and her friends stayed out on the trampoline way past the time that we cleaned up and carried everything inside. I think it was about 11 when they went home. We didn’t kick them out or anything, since it was the last time (probably) she would get to hang out with them.
Sunday was fast Sunday, and we didn’t get there very early, so we were in the back on the hard chairs. It was a very good meeting, but my friend DeEtte got up and was sharing how thankful she was that Heavenly
Father answered their prayers and sent a friend for their daughter at a very difficult time. Sent a friend all the way from Germany. Isn’t that wonderful? We didn’t know when we were signing up to host that there was a special girl who really needed to come here to our neighborhood, and we would be facilitators in answering that prayer. That got me crying. Larissa even went up there to bear her testimony. She said she knew there was a God and that he cared for us. She knew that Jesus had died for us. She also thanked everyone for influencing her life, and teaching her so much. In Young Women that day, they gave her a really cute scrapbook that all the girls signed and wrote their testimonies. They also gave her her own set of scriptures in German. We have the best ward. I hope she never forgets those young women.
Sunday she and Simone went over to Ashlyn’s house for dinner, and we went to see my sister and her beautiful brand new baby boy!
Monday they packed up, taking a cooler and some ziploc containers, also some dishes and ice so they could buy some food for their trip and they were off. I had to take the kids to piano, and was going to go to the gym while they had their lesson, so I gave them both hugs and told them safe travels. I don’t like big goodbyes. It’s good for us to have two weeks before we have to say goodbye for real. It’s kind of like the MTC, only we can still text.
Speaking of the MTC, Cole has finished his time there. Tuesday morning the phone rang before 7 am, and I thought, “it’s Cole!”. I had heard that his flight was early on Tuesday, and I HOPED he would call, but I didn’t know if he would. He said the MTC was FANTASTIC and he learned so much. He sounded kind of nervous to be going to West Virginia, and I can’t wait until Monday when we should get his first email from the field. I can’t wait to hear where he is and who his companion is, and hopefully he can actually attach a few pictures. Hooray!
So, yeah, we’ve had enough goodbyes around here for a while. I need more hellos.