So my youngest brother comes home from the mission today. At least that is what is supposed to happen. I can’t help but think that this is a solid April Fool’s Day joke. Not that I’d ever expect my brother, or any one in my family, to do such a thing to my angel mother, but let’s just say that I’m quite sure that all my brothers (including me) are wishing that they had had the opportunity to do it. After all, I think all of us waited on the plane until we were the very last ones off just to make it as traumatic as possible.
What can I say? We’re all a bunch of teases.
It’s hard to believe that two years has already gone by, though. I’m looking back on my own home coming over ten years ago, and I’m excited for him. The first few days back are both excellent and somewhat anticlimactic. For me, I struggled remembering English (I had almost only Brazilian companions on my mission who spoke no English), I struggled with the cold (I came home in December), and I really struggled with the concept of returning to the world.
It was hard to go from being constantly busy to having a moment to sit and think. I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to just rest despite always saying that that was what I looked forward to most post-mission. I just wanted to move and go and work and still feel that spirit.
Those first few days home were happy days, of course. Time to reconnect, especially with mom and dad. Time to recommit to some habits from the mission (study, prayer, work, and scheduling/organization in particular).
If I could step back and come home once more, I think I’d still go to work just as fast as I did (about four days later), I think I’d still take that first semester off before starting school, and I think I’d still move out just as fast as I did (three weeks later). But I would have committed more to keeping those habits, and I especially would have committed extra hard to maintaining the mission language. I honestly mourn that I’ve lost the ease of speaking Portuguese. I can still understand and read virtually anything, but I’m out of practice with speaking. It’s just been too long.
Ah… Well, there is still time to repent of that one.
In a few hours, we’ll all head off to the airport to pick him up. It’s a tradition worthy of keeping. The Hero’s Welcome. The Hero’s Homecoming.
Hopefully not the Hero’s April Fool’s Joke, though I wouldn’t put it past him. 🙂