Our oldest son left on September 18, 2018 to serve a church mission for 2 years. He was called to serve in the Washington D.C South Mission, Spanish speaking. He spent the first 6 weeks in the Mexico CCM where he learned the language and the basic missionary training. On October 29, 2018 he arrived in Washington D.C.! He spent the next 18 months serving the people and The Lord in the Northern Virginia area. He loved his time in the mission field, his companions, President and Sister Caplin, and the people! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the mission enforced a mandatory rule that would force all missionaries who have been treated with asthma within 5 years to be sent home immediately. Unfortunately, Brady fell in this category. We received a sad call on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 and we had our boy home the following evening. I know it was so hard for him to leave the mission, but we were so happy to see him and had a wonderful reunion after 19 months apart!
We are so lucky to be surrounded by wonderful friends here in Texas. Brady’s best bud, Jordan, left to serve a mission in October 2017. Since their missions overlapped, they had not seen each other in nearly 3 years! Before the missions (and since) these two do most everything together! It was so fun to watch them together and Jordan’s poster does a fabulous job representing the two of them! The Pulliam Family (minus Shelby and Savannah who are away at school) also joined us at the airport! Josh might have been more excited than any of us as he skipped through the baggage claim, haha! Brady dated his daughter, Shelby, for a bit before the mission and got to know their family well. They are awesome! We love the Wilking and Pulliam Families and have been so grateful for their love and support the last 5 years!
With COVID-19 going on, the airport was eerie and nearly empty. We did the best we could with masks, sanitizer and social distancing…but, we couldn’t resist all the hugs! It is the best feeling to have our family back together!
Straight from the airport we went to In-n-Out Burger, Brady’s choice! Nobody should ever go 19 months without it! We were barely in the driveway before he was out of the car and checking out his beloved mountain bike and taking it for a spin in his suit! Bo could hear us in the garage so we let him out and he had the cutest reunion! He was only one when Brady left, but had the sweetest response and excitement…no doubt that he remembered his buddy! We went inside and he took a tour of the house…nothing has changed at all, haha! He came out of the bathroom wearing Blake’s senior homecoming overalls OVER his suit and I knew that he still had his same sense of humor and we all laughed!
I had such short notice about Brady coming home and with stores closed, it didn’t leave too many options for a welcome home party or decorations. I decorated the “never ending Christmas tree” with the Washington D.C. flag colors. I had some balloons, pictures, ribbons, and a tiered stand full of his favorite treats and drinks! Blake created an amazing print of Brady as a missionary and we framed it and put it up…turned out so well! Not too easy to pull off the type of homecoming I would have preferred with only 24 hour notice, while there is a worldwide pandemic going on and everything is shut down! But, we did what we could and in the end we were very grateful to have him home with us safe and sound!
We couldn’t be more proud of the young man that Brady is, for the example he is and continues to be! Watching him serve and grow a love for the people is something I can’t put into words, but hope every mom gets to experience on some level at some point! He worked so hard and though his mission was cut short, he will continue to serve The Lord from wherever he is! He has a humble and grateful heart and has been forever changed with so much love for Our Savior! CALLED TO SERVE AND RETURNED WITH HONOR!
WELCOME HOME ELDER WEAVER, WE LOVE YOU!