Well, the big day came. After leaving his last missionary area in Trevelin, Argentina on Sunday, November 30, Bryan finally landed in Dublin on the morning of December 4. L-O-N-G time traveling! Mostly flying at night and waiting in the airports during the day, but one of his early comments was that he never wants to see a bus again.
We drove up to Dublin (about 4 hours) the night before, so were at the airport early—flights from the US often land 30-60 minutes early. So after going through customs and passport control, Bryan came through the gate into his father’s waiting arms. Me? I had sat down (can’t stand in one place for a long time) and had fallen asleep! Aarrgghh! I woke up to a voice saying, “Hi, Mom!”
It was SO good to see him, tired, unshaven, scruffy as he was. He had hardly slept in 48 hours. (Monday night was at the Mission Home in Neuquen.) I hugged him and hugged him, but it was strange—he’s lost a lot of weight and his shoulders felt more like Tim’s, although not so high up. <g> He didn’t think he’d sleep in the car, but he did.
As expected, he came home with lots of worn out clothes (you should have seen the remnants of his socks!) and clothes that just didn’t fit anymore. So we did a bit of shopping, but he’ll have more to do in the States. And I was surprised at how some of the silly things we had sent had traveled with him the whole time, some coming home and some being left for other elders to enjoy. “Elder Monkey,” a neon-colored wrap-around monkey that we sent to be a “junior companion” in the MTC actually made it through his whole mission!
We had a great time here, but mostly hanging out together, not doing a lot of tourist stuff. He and I did the coastal walk up from Charles Fort, he and Blaik went to Blarney Castle, and we shopped in Kinsale, but that was about it. He got to know a few streets in Kinsale, though. I’d drop him off at the fitness center, he’d work out and then walk home—about 3-1/2 miles. At least until Tim got here.
It’s been so fun to have the boys together again. They played a lot of video games upstairs, but just hearing their voices together, the back-and-forth and laughing, was heartwarming.
Christmas was nice, although strange being here instead of the States (see other post), and Friday was spent with Bryan sorting through his stuff and packing. We had him for three short weeks, and it just wasn’t long enough! But he was very ready to be back in America. It was nice to hear more tidbits about Argentina, though—a bunch of little day-to-day things that he didn’t put in his e-mails, like climbing a hill to talk to someone and getting chased down, or throwing rocks into a river of mud so thick that the “waves” stayed up in their humps!
So we sent him off on the Saturday after Christmas. He spent 3 or 4 days with Kim and John in Indy, gave his homecoming talk in the Zionsville Ward (and did one here in Cork as well), and now he and John are driving his car and all his stuff out to Utah. Road trip, and a good chance to get to know each other better. They’ll stay with Rick & Leslie, and on Monday John will fly home and Bryan starts at BYU again. I think the next time we see him will be summer.