Monday, October 7, 2013

Returning to Thailand

Returning to Thailand was not as easy as coming. Not because we left loved ones, that is always hard. 

Our flight from Phoenix to San Francisco was delayed just enough that we missed the once a day flight to Tokyo. Actually we almost made it, but it took 20 minutes to get the jetway to our plane in SF. We rushed through the airport to the new gate only to see them push the plane away. There were 8 of us going, and one man had ran the whole way and arrived as they shut the door. They knew we were on a late flight and could have waited an extra 10 – 15 minutes for us. I have often been on flights that waited. To add insult to injury, they said the delay was totally weather related so no free overnight. Waiting for them to open the door of the plane from Phoenix was not weather but human caused! We asked to retrieve our luggage so we could have a change of clothes. They said Okay, but we may have to wait up to 2 hours to get it. My bag came within an hour. But after 6 hours of “fun” waiting at the airport, Joan's finally came when an employee personally went back to the international baggage area and brought it to us (after the 10th time we requested.) Airline representatives had told us repeatedly that it was coming. Customer service at United was an oxymoron.  
Von wearing the tie his aunt Joyce
knitted for him to wear at his reception

The good part of the stay was that we were able to go to dinner with Robert and Chris Fonnesbeck. He is a Thai return missionary, and both are our great friends.

We did catch the next day’s flight. It was a long 10 hours to Tokyo, a 4-hour layover and then 6 hours to Bangkok. We were bushed! We took a taxi to where our car was parked at the Bangkok Church office building, and then drove the 1.5 hours home to Ayutthaya, arriving at about 12:30 AM.

-Elder Sowards

(Joan's note:)
My sisters and I attend the RS Women Broadcast
l-r Tammy Duthie, Joan Sowards, Kathy Willson
Peggy Glass, LeeAnne Whitaker
Going home was a good experience. The whole time I felt AWOL, though we had all the permission to leave that we needed. It was good to see our family, meet our new grandson for the first time, be with Von and Jordan on their wedding day (I would have always regretted missing it), spending time with my siblings-- but it is time to get back to missionary life. It also taught me that missions go fast! We are already 1/3 of the way through our 18 months. Amazing.

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