|She made it to New York!|
Sister Rose left the MTC on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, and flew to New York, where she will be serving in Upstate New York until we hear if she has had a visa approved to allow her to come to Australia. Because of the visa delay, the rest of the missionaries serving in her MTC district, which were called to Australia, all received their visas and left on Monday.
That was tough for her.
The rest of her district all left with her on Tuesday, but they were all headed to Jamaica and got on another bus Tuesday morning at the MTC, so she rode the bus alone to the airport in Salt Lake City, Utah.
She called home Tuesday morning, and we visited with her for about an hour. She entered the airport with the other missionaries, but twenty minutes before she was to board the plane, she did not have another missionary in the gate with her to board her flight with. As far as we know, she traveled alone. She was to have a two hour layover in Detroit, Michigan, before continuing on to Syracuse, New York. She was very nervous, because she has never flown before. She asked lots of questions, and we tried to give as much advice and reassurance as possible, as well as joke and share updates with one another. I'd be lying to say that it was easy to say, "Good luck and talk to you soon."
As we were thinking it was about time to end our phone call, a man came up to her and told her he would like to buy her and some other sister missionaries breakfast before they left. She said on the phone, "Wow, that is so nice! I'm starving!"
We knew that she should arrive in NY around 3:00 p.m., mountain standard time. It was a very LONG, worry-filled day for mom and dad.
At exactly 3:02 p.m., my phone started to chime, and a sweet lady by the name of Sister Brown sent me messages and also to Sister Stowell's family, her companion, stating that they had our daughters and they had prayed Sister Rose there. They informed us that new companions were chatting up a storm and were so happy to be together. Turns out that Sister Stowell had been without a companion, too.
I then received another text, stating that Sister Brown, who was notifying us that our daughter was safe and sound, was actually from Ririe, Idaho, and is currently serving with her husband in New York. She then proceeded to say that for a time, they lived in St. Anthony, Idaho, and lived in the 3rd and 4th ward, WITH SISTER ROSE'S GRANDMA AND GRANDPA ROSE. The tears began to flow, and I counted my blessings that tender mercy's are real.
Heavenly Father is in the details of our life.
There were many other texts between us, and there were many more connections that brought much peace and ease of mind. Sister Rose and her companion will be serving as military relations missionaries, and will spend most of their time at Fort Drum. They will have a challenging time, as the base has constant turnover of people coming and going, most being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. I read that the base trains about 80,000 military personnel annually. She will be living in a very tiny town, just north of the base. And about ten miles from Brother and Sister Brown.
Sister Rose looks so happy in these pictures, and I'm sure she was relieved to have warm, welcoming arms as she exited the airplane.
How lucky for Sister Rose to share her love and friendship and also extend our Heavenly Father's love to those who care so much about our country and freedom that they are willing to lay down their life for what they believe in. We are grateful she chose to serve a mission for Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and serve the people in New York or Australia, or wherever the Lord needs her.
We love her; we are proud of her, and we will sure be looking forward to her first email!