Friday, January 8, 2016


Life sure changes quickly.

It feels like just a moment ago I was a young mom with 5 little ones.

Now suddenly time has exploded all over and I have 10 kids, but it sure feels like a few of them have their feet halfway out the door already.

I counted down the days until November 11th - when we could finally pick Akayla up from her mission.

It almost felt like the day would never get here.

But suddenly it came and here we are in January.

I want to remember what happened that weekend forever.

Dave and I rented a car (our cars needed repairs and couldn't make the trip), and left our house around 2:00 p.m.  Unfortunately as it got dark the roads got pretty bad.  The route we had planned to take had been completely closed up.  But we were not going to wait - we were going to see Sister Ferrara the next morning!  So we took a different route (up through Colorado instead of through Wyoming if you're interested).  Our plan was to get to our hotel (that we'd already paid for) that evening and leave early the next morning to drive the last few hours to Omaha.  Well, our plans were way off.  We ended up driving all night..... (I wish I could say I stayed awake and kept my husband company.  I sure tried, but I'm the worst wife ever!)  We arrived at our hotel at 8:30 the next morning.  We took showers and got back on the road as fast as we could!  

We ended up getting to the mission home a little earlier than we had planned, so Sister Ferrara was out with the mission president's wife doing errands.  I thought I would die!  We waited for a bit, and then got a call from them that they'd be back in a few minutes.  

Such a fun reunion!  I thought things might be awkward, but it was so easy to talk to her!

We planned on staying the rest of the day, so she had set up appointments with some of the people she came to love as a missionary.

The best part about that was watching her with the people who had come to love her so much.
She is so genuine and full of love......

I learned a lot being with her the next few days.
I am so happy she had the opportunity to serve a mission.
She loved her mission so much, and she gave her whole heart to serving!

It was hard to leave Nebraska.  
And the last couple months have been a really difficult adjustment!

We drove back to our hotel and slept like logs after the long day we'd had.

The next day we drove all the way home.

We got home around 9:00, and the kids were all outside with signs and a welcome home banner on the garage.

They were jumping up and down and couldn't wait to hug their sister.

We went to see the stake president who released her but told her she didn't have to take her tag off until she got into her pajamas - tender mercy.

When we got back the kids all wanted my attention because they hadn't seen me for 2 days.

Akayla was just sitting by herself, and I looked over and heard her say.... "It's gone", and then she burst into tears.

I didn't know if she wanted to talk or just be alone, so I let her be for a minute.

My husband talked to her for a bit and invited her down for family prayer.

After the prayer she asked if we could talk for a bit.

We ended up talking for 2 hours, and she was able to sort through her feelings.
Missing the mission, overwhelmed with all the changes, feeling out of place - she doesn't know her siblings any more, and not sure what to do about her future.

Talking helped a lot, and then we slept.

The next day she spent some good quality time with all of her siblings and things felt normal again.

best hug ever!

Loved getting a tour of the Trail Center!

getting re-acquainted with sisters (and finally meeting Corina's husband)

one of the missionaries who came to her Homecoming - Elison

Akayla's roommate at BYU-I and her hubby

best surprise from her Homecoming-
her Trainer and best friend Mahlstede
(married now - Noorlander ooops!)
Love her and her husband!

The big changes that have happened in the past couple of months were surprising to all of us - even Akayla.

Many of our friends know that Akayla sent a missionary off that was her very best friend through high school.  
They thought that when she returned from her mission they would get married.
They both served faithful missions, but when Akayla returned home she realized how much she/they had changed.

She had prayed so much to know what to do about that situation during her mission and had felt impressed to just wait until she was home and not worry about it.  
As soon as she spent some time with him she knew..... her feelings had changed and he was not the one she is supposed to be with.

She discovered unexpectedly that they were supposed to help each other through the difficult high school years, and then be a support to each other on their missions.
We love this young man and his family so much, but we're happy that Akayla knows what is best for her.

She went on so many dates the first couple of weeks - with so many different great guys.  
She had gotten a message while still a missionary from the AP (assistant to the mission president) she had served with - Dex Edwards saying he'd like to meet up with her when she got home.

He's going to BYU-I right now so he drove here to take Akayla on a date one day, but they ended up just staying here and talking for 5 hours.  They did go on a date a few days later and everything just clicked perfectly.  

Dex admitted he'd had a secret crush on her for a long time on the mission.  Akayla admitted she had been so impressed with him and also had a secret crush.  Neither of them knew though because they were faithful missionaries.

Matching Nebraska jackets

Fast forward to now..... 

Change is on the horizon yet again.

I don't know when, but I do know my daughter doesn't want to be with anyone else.
He completes her.

I've sure loved having Akayla home, but she's ready to move on to the next step.

good things:
mission homecomings
true friends


Kassie said...

Wow. How exciting. I think that return to civilian life is just hard.
(I have to secretly admit I wished my son would find her at BYUI. )
It's rather fun to watch their lives unfold....

Erika said...

This hit home. I have been wondering. Missions, time, and life change people. The same thing happened to me and "my friend". It was one of the toughest times of my life. The Lord knows best.

Diwakar said...

Hello Angela and David Ferrara family. I am so glad to know you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I am blessed and feel privileged and honored to get connected with you because of who you are in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India and I love to get connected with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthen and praying for one another. I have been in the ministry for last 36 yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have your young grown up children to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. God willing I will be in the States in the month of May and will be so happy to stop by your place and meet you and share with you how God is moving in the land of India. I have also commented on Mr and Mrs Kessie and Curtis Welch family. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you. God's richest blessings on you and your children and friends and also wishing you a blessed and a Christ centered rest of the year 2016