Elder Gifford's father came to Washington to pick him up from his mission. We got some pictures of when they first saw each other. It was very touching. Reuniting missionaries with their parents is a hard reunion to explain. I have experienced it twice and it is like Christmas morning for the mothers and fathers. I think it is more of a sureal and confused feeling for the missionaries. They have just completed the most wonderful and meaningful two year experience and they are usually wishing they could stay in the mission field, yet at the same time excited to see their families. I remember, as a mother, counting the days until my sons came home. If I knew then what I know now. Here comes your missionary, back to your care and really they have become incredible leaders and grown men and women able to run wards and branches, preach great sermons and and show love for so many kinds of people. They are excited to see their families and at the same time the adjustment is probably harder than when they came into the field. Sorry about all this rambling. It was just that we got to witness this reunion. It was fun to see a father and son be reunited after 2 years. We had them over for dinner at the mission home the night before they left. Thanks for all you did Elder Gifford. We miss you already..
Jan 4,2010 at the mission home
Elder Gifford and his father
Pres and I with the Giffords
5 minutes after the reunion
Elder Gifford sees his father and gives him a long hug.