We’ll go ahead and begin with preparation day. It was crazy. Emailing was strange since it was the last time doing it on the mission as I didn’t have many people to chat with, so I quickly finished up and then did some family history research by looking at how far back my family tree goes. Turns out it went as far back as the 1500s one of the branches of the tree. So exciting!

Tuesday was the last full day–scary! We started with finishing packing and then cleaning our apartment so it would be ready for the new missionary coming into it. Then it was transfers. After the parking lot exchange, we headed off to some other missionaries’ area to knock doors for them for a few hours. It flew by. We kept looking at our watches wishing it would slow down. Then at 6pm, we headed to President Henrie’s home for a lovely home-cooked meal followed by a spiritually moving departing testimony meeting. A moment where it kind of felt real was when one of the missionaries was picked up, it was surreal to feel the love in the air and the fact that we would be having that moment tomorrow.

Wednesday, my turn came. We all got to the airport around 9am. Several people’s departures were delayed, thankfully mine was a-okay, and so was the rest of my flights. I had layovers in Salt Lake City and Minneapolis before landing around 9:30pm in Appleton, WI. It was strange seeing my Mom after nearly 3 years but it felt good to not only talk to her but also see talk to her face to face. Then, we headed to our new stake president’s home so I could be released and then went home for a good night’s rest because I only got about 2 or 3 hours of sleep the night before.

Thursday, was a dentist appointment. That was relatively painless, my teeth are all nice and clean again. Not white, now mind you, just clean. I began my job search by re-doing my resume, even though at this point it was very much a rough draft. I also began the effort to remember all of my crucial login information.

Friday, was a fun day. I donated plasma for the first time in 2 years. It was relatively painless. The biggest thing that took a lot of time was the initial screening. Following that was the actual donation which took about an hour. Then, we bought some groceries for a family reunion the next day and for the upcoming week as well. Then, I got a new phone. It’s a Samsung Galaxy J3 Emerge, but it will do. After that, it was home for some more unpacking.

Saturday, we headed to Madison including an extended excursion for sight seeing. When we got to Madison it was time for the family reunion. It was so nice to see my Grandmother and Aunts and Uncles for the first time in so long. Oh yeah, can’t forget the cousins as well. After several hours we went back home so I could continue to unpack and look for jobs.

Sunday was my report to the high council. It was my first high council meeting I’ve ever attended. It was nice to see many of the members of the council that I’ve known for quite a while, including the new stake presidency. My new stake president was by YSA branch president when I left for Salt Lake City on my service mission. Also my Bishop is now the Second Counselor in the Stake Presidency and many other members of the council that I have been my youth leaders. We then went home to complete some things of preparation for my open house. At church, I taught the 7 & 8 year olds in Primary and then went home to get ready for said open house. During the 2 hours of the event, we had probably 30 to 40 people come.

All in all, it still feels weird to be home.