First of all, we want you to know that the day before we left to come home, the NRT equipment was finally allowed through customs without any taxes!!!! Yeah!!! We wanted to do cartwheels, we were so excited!! We were sure we wouldn't find out until after we were home. It has taken 2 months to clear customs!! What wonderful news!
Wednesday we went to Kamka'a office and visited with her family and Kulnazira and other NGO's that were there! It was very tearful because we have learned to love them so much and they have become such wonderful friends to us!! They gave us some gifts to remember them by. We will certainly miss them!! In the picture are Roy and Anne, Kulnazira, Kamka and Ramazon and their grandchildren!! Wednesday afternoon we did some more training with the Shaws!! They are going to do a great job!! We are so glad that we were able to spend some time with them and get to know them. They are wonderful, dedicated people that will continue the work!
After we sent them home, we began to finish up packing and also to finish up the last minute reports! Anne finished cleaning up the house while Roy finished up some other things that had to be done. Roy was even working on the reports when Mira and Sergei, our taxi driver, came to pick us up at 2:30 a.m.!It was terribly hard saying goodbye to Mira, our translator for the last 18 months!! We love her so much!! She has become like a daughter to us!! We will never forget her!! We have relied on her so much and we could have never done what she did without her help!! She has been invaluable to us in every way; especially with the NRT documents that she had to do. She worked so long and so hard, we just can't thank her enough!! "We love you, Mira!! We hope to see you next year when you come to the United States!!"
How does one say goodbye to people and places that they will never see again? It has been extremely difficult to leave a culture and a people that we have grown to love and really care for! We will never forget these people and their wonderful kindness to us while we have been here!! We boarded our Lufthansa plane at 4:30 a.m.;said goodbye to Kazakhstan and flew to Frankfurt. From there we flew to Denver and from there to Salt Lake City, Utah. After 36 hours in the air and in airports, we finally made it home to Utah.
Our family was there to welcome us at the airport!! It was so good to see all of them. We were excited to be there with them!!
Thanks so much to all of you who have followed our blog!! It has been fun to hear from you!! We appreciate your love and support for us!
We know that our life will not be nearly so exciting that we are home!! But we will try to keep our blog updated!
Our mission was wonderful! We would recommend it to anyone!! We have learned so much about people and customs and countries that we certainly hope we can go again!! The gospel is true, our Savior died for each of us that we may live again, our Heavenly Father knows and loves each of us, and we can live with Him again if we keep the commandments!
Elder and Sister Welling (for the last time!)