I did not expect to be writing the final post in our mission blog this soon but here we are at home in Lethbridge and I am finishing the blog. This all started last Sunday. We got word that Jay had collapsed at work and was admitted to the hospital in Weyburn. He had lost control and feeling in his legs. They thought he had a protruding disk and sent him up to Regina on Monday for an MRI and to see a neurosurgeon. After the MRI he had surgery right away. They removed a disc from his back and fused it together. After the surgery he still didn't have feeling in his legs.
We, of course were very concerned and let President Donaldson know about what was going on and that we may have to go home and care for Jay. After talking to Jay on Tuesday we made the decision that we needed to go home and help him out in any way that we could. In his current condition he certainly couldn't look after himself. President Donaldson was very supportive and asked how would we feel if we were over there providing service to the members when our son was home needing our service. So he quickly got approval for our early release and we had our flight plans for Thursday that evening.
We spent the day on Wednesday getting the apartment cleaned up and taking things where they needed to go. The Angels came over from Portadown and spent the morning with us and took all of the things that did not belong in the apartment and were mission property or that we had purchased. At noon President and Sister Thompson came over and we all went out for lunch together. We spent the afternoon running errands taking things back and then went over to say our goodbyes at the Charity Shop. That was difficult as we enjoyed our time there and made good friends with Rose and Brian and the other volunteers, especially Sheila.
In the evening on Wednesday we went over to the Fosters for supper. We have enjoyed their friendship and it was difficult to say goodbye to them also. We spent the evening packing our bags and then got a little sleep. We had to get up at 3:00 am to drive to Belfast to catch our flight to London. The zone leaders met us at the airport to take our car and we were on our way. It just seemed like it happened so fast and we were disappointed to not be able to finish our mission or say goodbye to everyone.
It was a very long flight home. It was made worse by having a 5 hour layover in London. We flew from London to Calgary direct. It was a large airplane, a 787 Dreamliner, and it was only about 1/4 full so that made the flight a lot more pleasant. There was room to stretch and move around. We landed at Calgary at about 3:30 in the afternoon and Corey, Kailey and Scott and their families were there to meet us. It was great to see them. We had a couple of hours to visit and then we flew the rest of the way to Lethbridge where Skye and her family and the Pincher Creek crew were there to greet us. Needless to say we were exhausted. We went to the Stake Centre where President Stewart released us.
It was an abrupt and unexpected end to our mission. It was over too soon but we feel we made the right decision and one that we needed to make. We have many fond memories of our time in Ireland and the members and missionaries that we got to know and worked with for our time there. If there is a bright side to a situation like this it is that we were almost finished our service. Now our mission is to do all we can to help Jay recover and get better.
Over and out!
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.