Allen's e-mail address

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.
The first sight of Allen Marcos ran up and met him at the base of the escalator and got the first hug. Then one by one we took our turns hugging him. It was quite an exciting moment for all of us. We went to look for his luggage but the suitcases didn't make the flight. He filled out the necessary paperwork and then we went home.
Jennifer gets her hug
The family together again President Hall came over about 30 minutes after we got home. He asked to interview Allen but he asked to do it in front of all of us. So Allen stood and answered questions from President Hall regarding his mission and his growth. For 30 minutes Allen bore fervent testimony of the power of the Atonement and how he was becoming more Christlike. He bore testimony of the importance of continuing our growth. By the time he was done we were all in tears, grateful for the wonderful spirit that was in our home. President Hall then asked for private time with Allen so they went downstairs to talk. They spent 10 minutes alone and then they returned and our elder Pickett was once again Allen Pickett. What a sweet experience.
Decorated House Allen spoke in church the following Sunday and we had a family and friend get-together after the block. Very few stuck around for that as they are more accustomed to leaving church after Sacrament meeting. We had a great time with those that came by to visit. Allen is now attending Salt Lake Business College on a returned missionary scholarship.

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