Sister Richardson left Seoul, Korea with 10 other missionaries, on Friday morning Oct 26, 2012 at 10 am and arrived in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday afternoon Oct 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm! Sounds like a quick trip doesn’t it?? She actually left Seoul –Arizona Time- on Thursday night about 6pm, flew to Tokyo with a 3-4 hour layover and then from Tokyo to Los Angeles it was a 9 ½ hour flight and wait for another 3-4 hour layover and then the final trip to Phoenix. The other missionaries flew off to Hawaii, San Francisco and Tennessee; one came home to Phoenix with her – Elder Lambert who lives in Mesa.
All of our family was able to be at the airport to greet Sister Richardson home after 18 months. We all met at Gate 16 to await her arrival. The 13 nieces and nephews all anxious to finally see and hug their Aunt Nellie again! Each armed with a balloon and home made signs they waited patiently.
Until a couple of balloons found their way to the ceiling. Uncle Jonny was bound and determined to not have any screaming children so he “rescued” the balloons that were lost. After several attempts to retrieve the balloons – he was successful and the crowds in the airport erupted in cheers as the balloons were given back to their rightful owners.
Then we could see the Delta plane arriving at the gate! We knew she was finally here.
We waited and waited and W A I T E D until all of the passengers were off the plane, and then we waited until all of the crew came walking by and still no Missionaries! Finally, we could see down a walkway – where we could not enter – Elder Lambert and Sister Richardson!
Then she was greeted by her Papa with the Best Hug Ever!
Followed by Mom and then the kids attacked!
Then as the older ones had gotten their hugs – Sister Richardson was able to meet her new nieces and nephew that she had never seen before (except in pictures).
Bridger and his Sister Lily
Then she was in for a shocking surprise – the oldest nephew who came up to her shoulder height when she left – was now looking her straight in the eye!
"OH MY GOSH CONNOR!!!"
We stayed at the airport for a long time just enjoying having her back among us.
Justin, Larissa, Connor, Rylee and Tatum greeted Sister Richardson with the ever popular dance made famous by Psy - a Korean singer - "Gangnam Style"
Jon, Rachel, J.T., Avery, Evanna & Alyvia with Aunt Nellie
Here are the families with new babies - Jody, Jay, Jacy, Jake and Jessie who was born the day Janell flew to Korea from the MTC, in July 2011.
Jaylen, Blaire and Lucy who was born in Sept 2011.
And Jennifer, Matt and Lily - who was only 3 months old when Janell left and now has hair, and is walking and talking....and BRIDGER who was just born this summer June 2012.
Her bags were picked up and off we went to dinner. She missed Mexican food the most while she was gone so we had Tacos, burros and chips & Salsa waiting!
The kids all got to play with her and they made “cookie monsters” cookies – a favorite tradition.
After celebrating Halloween with family – we headed for St. Johns on Monday – and met with our Stake President Edward Burgoyne.
Sister Richardson was released Oct 29, 2012. It was a Bitter Sweet Day. She was happy he did not make her take off her badge right away. That was a very hard thing to do!
She is home in St. Johns, with the Banner that the kids colored for her.
Here she checks out her poster that has hung on the wall ever since she left. With stickers placed everyday she was gone. Pictures she sent home of some of her most cherished moments. Like Soccer on P-day, favorite food, and favorite people, temple trips, street boarding, kimchi pots, beautiful fall colors in Korea etc.
She still bows to people as she shakes their hands and still struggles to find the English words for a few things and her prayers are still said in Korean, she loves sleeping on the floor - in fact she bought a "yo" (a bed) to bring home with her She had to send her clothes home on the boat - to get the bed in her luggage! She says she still feels "Weird".
We are grateful for all of her wonderful experiences and great companions and forever friends that she has met, for her great District and Zone’s and wonderful Mission Presidents Lee and Christiansen. A special Thank You for those of you who have supported her during the past 18 months, with cards, letters and well wishes. We are very happy that she is finally home……….