Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mission Accomplished - Elder Copeland Returns Home June 15, 2016

After serving faithfully for two years on his Mormon Mission to Nicaragua Managua South Spanish Speaking, Elder Copeland was now on his way home.
The house was prepared for his homecoming, as well as the car he would be riding home from the airport. 

In addition to Elder Copeland's immediate family gathering at the airport . . .
there were many friends and cousins . . .

as well as both sets of grandparents.
Elder Copeland's sisters Hannah and Lauren with their mother.
His brother Taylor and Taylor's wife, Ellie.
Hannah with family friends (the Ashworths) who are triplets.
Elder Copeland's mother could hardly stand the wait.
His Grandpa George wanted to make sure he saw the "Welcome
Home" sign as he came down the escalator.
Soon, the first sightings brought so many smiles and cheering!

Group hug from mother and sisters.

A big hug from his dad.




And then Elder Copeland learned about "selfies" from his sisters!

After two years of getting around mostly by foot, Elder 
Copeland's shoes definitely showed it!

Elder Copeland was so excited to see another family
member:  The family dog, Koda, who definitely remembered him.


 Elder Copeland with his grandparents, Robert and Marti Johns.

Also, with his grandparents, George and Laura Copeland.
 His older brother, Taylor, who served in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia 
Spanish Speaking Mission, finished his mission and then married Ellie.  
Taylor and Elder Copeland 
will be able to speak Spanish together now!
 Elder Copeland with his younger brother, Kade, who will 
be leaving on his mission in a year.
The three Copeland brothers reunited.
 Elder Copeland's cousin, Carter, will be leaving on his 
mission to Scotland/Ireland in July.

 Carter's mother, Kim, with Elder Copeland
Elder Copeland with his youngest sister, Hannah.

 Elder Copeland with family friends, the Ashworths.

 Elder Copeland's Bishop Peterson, his wife and daughter.
 Family friend, Kim Johnson, whose son, Cole, is one of 
Elder Copeland's best friends and will be returning from a Korean
mission shortly. 

 Family friend, Howard Hanneman
 The plane had come in two hours late and it was nearing 10:00 p.m.  No one
was complaining of the late hour, however.  Such a happy reunion! 
 Elder Copeland walks to the parked car and got to drive home after
not driving for two years in Nicaragua!
 After returning from a full-time mission, a missionary must be released 
by his Stake President from his calling.  His immediate family, plus his 
Grandparents Copeland were in attendance at that releasing.  
Elder Copeland gave a beautiful, heartfelt testimony of his love for
the Savior and the people of Nicaragua.  With that release, Elder Copeland
became Connor Copeland again. 
 As Connor came driving up, he saw the sign and balloons that a family friend 
had placed at his home.
 Upon arriving home, the first thing Connor did was look in the refrigerator 
exclaiming, "Oh, food!"  On his mission, he had basically lived on
instant breakfast packets that had been sent to him for breakfast, rice and beans
for lunch, and Tang for dinner.  With all the walking and those few calories,
no wonder he was basically skin and bones as he returns.
 A friend had set up a wonderful display of fruit covered cookies
and fruit pastries for Connor's return.
When Connor reached his bedroom, he just fell down on the floor.  
He hadn't seen carpet for two years and it felt so good!
His mother had given him a sandwich when he came in, but
his stomach had shrunk so much, he couldn't even finish it!
He was delighted with the new clothes his mother had purchased
for him now that he needed "regular" clothes again.

 We all loved seeing the unique Nicaraguan money that he 
brought home with him.
 He showed his family his journals and booklets that
he had used the past two years.
 Then, he was able to go outside and do something else that
he hadn't done for two years:  Swing a golf club!
 Connor certainly hadn't lost the touch!  He will be playing 
for the Utah Valley University in the fall and will
get back in the "swing" of golf very quickly, he hopes.

 The next day, we made sure he had his first
American hamburger.
And since he loves ice cream, we made sure he got a big thick shake 
the day after. 
It is so wonderful to have Connor home!  He had many trials during his 
two-year mission; however, they just made him work harder.  We are 
all so proud of all he did!  He definitely served the Lord with 
all his heart and has certainly "Returned with Honor!"  

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