Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Welcome Home Elder Pickett
The morning of August 24th, we woke up to a phone call from Allen. He was calling from Miami to let us know that he had arrived in the USA safely. We were ecstatic to hear that he was once again on "friendly territory." I told him to quickly go and check on his next flight to make sure that he was checked in and had a seat. I asked him to call us back as soon as he was checked in. An hour later he called us and said, "I have bad news, my flight is cancelled." We thought he was kidding so we pressed him and he said that he was serious. He asked what to do. We were in shock. I called Church travel and they confirmed that his flight was cancelled and said they would re-schedule him for the next available flight, the next day! Jen was about to go ballistic so we asked Allen to go and see if they could get him a flight going elsewhere. He did go and speak to the desk people and they got him on stand-by for a flight to Minneapolis. He checked into that flight and waited nervously for his name to be called. We were even more nervous because we didn't know if he was going to make the flight or not. When the flight departed we braced ourselves for the "I didn't make it" phone call but it never came. We crossed our fingers and waited for a couple of hours. Allen called us from Minneapolis and said that he made it there and the chances looked good for him to make the last leg to SLC. Sure enough, he made the flight and eventually landed in SLC, 4 hours after his original time. Those 4 hours seemed like an eternity for us. We went to airport and were joined by Claralina and her kids, also Saul and Simon, my friend from England who arrived 10 minutes before Allen. We waited in Terminal 2 with a homemade sign, balloons, Argentine soccer jerseys, etc. We nervously scanned every person coming down wearing a suit and tie. After what seemed like an eternity Jennifer let out a scream and we knew what she saw. We all looked up and there was Allen coming down. We all cheered.