Alexa's Home!

When my sister first left on her LDS mission to St. Louis, it didn't feel that different.  After all, she was normally up at college, and we only got to see her during holidays anyway.  But soon there came times when I had the impulse to text her something funny... and then realized I couldn't.  Or had a story one could only share with a sister, and yet I didn't have her number.

Missionaries typically only Skype home a few times a year, and don't normally text or use social media to keep in touch with friends and family back home.  Why?  One simple answer is that they are doing as Jesus Christ asked his disciples, to give up all and follow Him {Luke 5:11}.  They are putting their lives behind them for those 18-24 months they dedicate to serving their brothers and sisters.  

Lex not only wrote me letters and emails throughout her mission, but she wrote to Camden!  We had lots of fun writing her letters and drawing her pictures.  Who does that anymore?  Real mail is the best.  We loved checking the mailbox, and I'd often read aloud her stories of the small miracles she was witnessing and the people she was able to share the gospel with.

Pretty amazing, huh?  That people as young as 18 put everything on hold because of their faith in Christ, and their desire to follow Him, with full focus on those they are serving.  Alexa and Mason are both awesome examples to me and also to Camden.

Eighteen months really flew by, and suddenly we were waiting anxiously at the Tucson Airport for her to arrive home.

As soon as Alexa's shoes were visible coming down the escalator, we all burst out cheering.  Probably gave a few other exiting passengers a heart attack.  Alexa was so emotional at the sight of all of us that she could barely pull herself off of the escalator.

The first, long hug went to Dad.  Then Mom.  Then Mason, Dad, and I just piled on for a big group hug, and I'm pretty sure Alexa wasn't the only one crying.  Happy tears to be together again.

The Collett girls reunited!

Cam was only three months old when his Aunt Alexa left.  I tried to prepare him for her coming by showing him pictures of her and asking, "Who is this?"  But no matter how many times I drilled him, his response was always, "Mama!"  So it's no surprise he was a little confused when he saw my look-alike.  No worries, by the next day they were besties.

That Sunday Alexa gave a talk in sacrament meeting about her experiences, and Zac was able to be home for that.  So we were really all together.  Love it that way.

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