Sorry I have neglected this blog since returning home, but I figured I need to come and finish things up here.
On 7 October, we had our departing dinner and testimony meeting, and it basically ended up being one of the best days of my life. I just got to spend all day with 13 sisters that I adore, and President and Sister Jordan. The testimony meeting part was a bit emotional, but all night I was just in awe of how seriously blessed I have been for the past 18 months. Looking around the room at all these sisters who I love so much and have made a real impact on me, and looking out the window to the city and country that is home to me now. So when it was time to pack in some mini cabs and drive away to a hotel by the airport, it was pretty sad. Not bittersweet. Pretty much just bitter.
At the hotel, I stayed in a room with Sister Formica, my second to last companion. We went to another room though and stayed up until 3:30 am talking to some other sisters. Which was so much fun and I did not regret it at all, because I wouldnt have been able to sleep anyway. Like good little ELM missionaries, we woke up at 6:29am, went to go running but realized it was pouring rain outside, then did our exercise in the hotel gym, which was pretty fun.
When we got to the airport, 8 of us sisters were meant to be on the same flight to Dallas and then would all catch connecting flights from there. We were pretty excited to all fly together for a bit. But that dream was dashed pretty quickly when we got to group check in and they told us our "booking agent had cancelled our tickets." Meaning someone at the mission travel office made a mistake. Oops. They suggested we call them and clear it up and we were just like, "We don't have mobile phones!" So we go to a payphone nearby but can't figure out how to do international calls, so we called President Jordan. No answer. Sister Jordan. No answer. Then we call their landline in their flat, and Sister Jordan picked up after a few rings which was miracle #1, as she explained she never answers that phone ever, but strangely felt like she needed to. So President calls up the mission travel department and conferences us in, and all of us are just huddled around this payphone as she talks to each of us one by one, getting us new travel details. So we were then split into two flights: the 4 Utah sisters and Sister Formica, and then us 3 Nevada sisters. And when we got to the gate, who happens to be on our flight but Elder Helske, an elder that had gone home a few months after we started our missions. That was hilarious.
I was in a seat next to Sister Davis for the flight across the Atlantic. Take off was SUPER emotional, both of us sitting there crying like fools, because let's be real, I am way too poor to ever go back to England. It was really really sad. When we landed in Chicago, everyone's accents were so. Very. American. Kinda hurt my ears. And my heart. Sister Gibson had to go to a different flight to Reno, so then it was us on our flight to Vegas. It was fun with Sister Davis, we just talked the whole time and told stories and I was SO GRATEFUL that I had someone with me, because 14 hours of flying without anything but my scriptures to entertain me would have been a bit rough.
Landing in Las Vegas was weeeeiiiiiiiird. Like landing on another planet. We were not overly impatient about getting to baggage claim, so we took our sweet time prettying up in the bathroom, getting a drink, letting three trams pass before getting on one, finishing our last GAP drill of the day (and our lives), and saying a prayer. And then the escalator ride came. And it was so surreal. In the drop of a hat I wasn't Sister Jacobsmeyer anymore. And that was really depressing. It took several weeks to finally be ok with that.
My first meal was Cafe Rio, which I was so looking forward to. I held a baby immediately after being released the morning of 9 October. Called up all my friends and their accents really threw me off haha.
But yeah, that's the story of my last 72-ish hours as a missionary!