Max starts work TODAY.  Up in Provo.

The sun has set on a grand adventure with this returned missionary of ours and I’m so melancholy about that, but also just so grateful.

Coming home from serving for two years in a foreign country, completely focused on serving others and teaching about Jesus Christ takes a little adjusting.

You get home and suddenly all that built-in personal study and scheduled daily routine comes to a screeching halt and suddenly you are just home.  No school yet, no job yet, suddenly your companions are replaced by a bunch of crazy sisters.  Yeah, different as different can be.

We figured all the adjusting may throw Max for a loop, but he has taken it all in stride.  It’s pretty cool to watch.  He claims that on the inside it’s a big struggle, but he’s done a great job with that struggle I tell you.

I think we are all well aware that these have been precious days.  There will probably never be another time like those few weeks when this boy has been just home, no distractions, taking his sisters out on lunch dates and motivating us all to read our scriptures, have schedules, work out, and love more.

This is how his desk has looked:

He’s had his fair-share of mission reports:
Worked out with us:

…has made his dad so happy just being there:

He’s been able to catch up with good friends, and we’ve loved having them around.

We’ve run into other friends too…see those three on the left below?
They grew up together since kindergarten.  Love them.
Max has been so goal-oriented we decided to capitalize on that and started a little 2-week challenge for his last two weeks at home.  We all made some pretty hefty goals and made some good strides on things we wanted to accomplish:

(That chart looks a little confusing but it helped…)

Max had the oportunity to catch a ride up to Provo for a few days…

…he was pretty excited about that in case you can’t tell 🙂

Fun to get a few pictures from him on our group family text from reunions with old friends up there:

This dinner was his favorite part…see those guys?  They were all in his mission.

The one next to him was his trainer and the other two were their roommates in his first area.

The girls (his sisters) missed him so much they were counting down the hours until he got back.

He stepped in to lead morning devotional:

 Worked his heart out on the piano (one of his goals):

…and I got to have him by my side for everything during the day, from workouts to the temple:

More friends:

He helped with tons of stuff around the house from changing strange lightbulbs in Claire and Grace’s closets to running errands for me to cleaning out the garage…

Lunch dates:

He learned how to get the stuff he wanted in Chinese on his phone:

…and watched with me from the sidelines at Claire’s volleyball tournament.

He taught a cool Family Home Evening lesson about technology…some things they taught in the mission when they started using smart phones.  He showed us a cool section in the “LDS tools” app under “missionary” called “safeguards for using technology:”

I liked this part:

By the end of his time home, our challenges were pretty filled in:

Yes, the sun was setting on his time at home with his sisters.

Dave and I got to go on a little adventure with him just by ourselves after that…so much more on that soon, but for now on this evening before we have to really let him go I just have to say that man, I’m going to miss him.

But he’s so ready.  I think he’s been home the perfect amount of time…time for us to really BE with him, but definitely starting to feel the need to stretch those gigantic wings. 

He is ready for the next adventure.  And he needs it to continue progressing.  Comfort doesn’t progress and he knows it well.

I love this little part of a letter sent from the mission a while ago:

When we lose our lives in the service of the Lord we are able to find ourselves, not necessarily the person we want to be but the person God wants us to be. I have been able to find so much happiness on my mission, I think the happiest times are the times where I can’t remember what day it is, I forgot to eat lunch, those times where you can feel the Spirit helping you every step of the way.

When I started my mission, I was worried I was going to turn into this robot that lives and breathes the gospel and doesn’t know anything else. My Dad helped me realize that the mission doesn’t CHANGE your personality, it DEEPENS it. That is so true. I am so thankful for how much the Spirit has helped me throughout the past couple months and I am excited for the growth that is yet to happen.

And here we are at the crossroads of another “yet to happen” part.

Isn’t that how life is?  One step after another?  We choose what we want to do with each of those steps.  It’s all up to us.  I’m excited to see what this one brings. 


  1. I'm getting to read this post a week late, but it's just hitting me that I've been reading your blog since well before Max left for his mission and now he's back…it's crazy how fast these 2+ years of following along with your family have flown by! I am not even sure how I came across your blog and I don't think I'm the target audience – I'm a 23-year old, nowhere close to having kids, not a member of LDS – but getting little glimpses into your life has been so enriching. I don't think I've really reflected on that until reading this post, so I wanted to share! <3

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