Monday, September 5, 2011


I am so LAME! It is September 5, 2011 and I am finally putting this blog to rest!

Elder Michael Forrest Johnson returned with honor on December 4,2010 at 11:00 pm.
Michael's return was PERFECT! We had a great plan that would work out perfectly as long as the weather cooperated. Boise was slammed with a snowstorm the weekend before he got home and more was predicted to come. I was so concerned that something would keep him from arriving on time out of Seattle.
We planned that Kevin would be leave SLC so that he would be in the airport waiting for him. That is at his gate! Well, Kevin's flight had to be on time and Michael's too. IT WORKED! The look on their faces as they walked through the gate was PRICELESS!!!

Andrea, Ryan, and the girls all came to the airport. It was so late but it meant so much to have them there. The girls weren't quite sure what to think of Uncle Monkey being there, in the flesh! But it didn't take long for them to warmup. Sydnie was there of course and Logan Hyde. We had Melissa and Jeffrey on cell phones and did our best to include them in the excitement!
He looked so good...short hair...and SKINNY! He had a wee bit of an accent and was constantly slipping into little phrases of Africaans and whatever else!

I had made sure that we had a cell phone for him AND Jeffrey had done exactly what he wanted and had the music he had requested. I had it all set up on the fireplace for him to see when he walked in. The look on his face was awesome!

We had a wonderful visit, laughed til it hurt and finally said goodnight.
The next morning we met with President Vaterlaus at his office, and Michael was released. The FIRST thing he did was plug his music in! He was like a kid in a candy store!! We spent the day shopping for shoes, getting his drivers license, had Gandolfos for lunch and just hung out.
There are no words to describe the joy, happiness and relief I felt to have him safely home. Michael is such a great person. He is so fun to be around and it didn't take him long to get right back into things.
I am so thankful for the experience he had of serving a mission in South Africa. He left a boy and returned a young man. I know that the Lord watched over him and protected him. And more than anything, I know his mission will continue to bless his life everyday. It is not a sacrfice to send my sons on missions. I miss them, EVERY DAY, but I know the Lord will bless their lives forever, for the service they give Him.
I almost forgot that he picked up his guitar right away and sang for about an hour. It was truly "MUSIC" to my ears. That was one of the things I missed the most while he was gone. Hearing him singing and playing his guitar.

I am so grateful to have him home...and as we know it was 3 weeks later and Kevin had his call to...