Josh wrote me every so often after that July letter. For Christmas he sent me some really thoughtful gifts, including one of my favorite journals with a picture of a tree that means a lot to both of us that he actually bought from my hometown. However, neither of us can find the turtle doves we hung on our trees both years. I am really sad about that! (The idea was from Home Alone 2)
I was supposed to finish my mission at the end of March but that didn’t start to feel right. Missionaries usually have a choice if they want to extend their mission if they want by about 6 weeks. My entire mission I planned to go home on time but as it drew nearer, I knew I needed to stay a little longer. I didn’t really think about Josh’s feelings much about it. When I wrote him to tell him, he was really upset. He still brings it up all the time. He said he was so excited for me to come home and then I had to go and do that. Once when I got home from my mission I complained about the weight I gained before getting married and he said, “Would 6 weeks have given you more time to lose the weight?” in a very sly tone. At that point he was very frustrated with me. It didn’t help that I did extend and then trying to stay focused on the end of my misison, told him not to write me until the last 2 weeks. I wanted to not think about him and think more about the people and the last final months. He said he almost dumped me over that haha. Poor lil guy just felt pretty beat up. Don’t worry, he sucked it up.
I finally told one person besides my mission companion about Josh in my last area in Cordelia. She said she needed to know when we would be getting married so she could buy the plane tickets. She said the sooner she bought them the cheaper they’d be. I told her we didn’t have a date picked out and I wasn’t writing him then so she would have to ask him herself! She called my bluff and found him on facebook, found his number and texted him about it. She told him she needed to know when and told him I had been thinking August 11 around 3pm. He said that was fine and so she said then go call the temple and set it up. So he did! I went home that night freaking out..holy crap I was getitn married! We had set a date and I wasn’t even engaged yet! And to a boy I hadn’t seen in over a year. It was pretty crazy, but like I said before, I knew it was right and didn’t have any doubts. God made sure of helping me with that.
I extended my mission 6 weeks so when it came time to end of my mission I had my typical final interview with my Mission President. He helps give you advice for when you go home and how to adjust and how to maintain your spiritual high missionaries often have. WIth mine we talekd about Josh and how I was going to get married. My President said well, if the fireworks are still there when you get home..then marry him! (That comes into play later on..)
The final night as a missionary was spent at the Mission home watching a video of pictures and talking about our missions. Pretty sure everyone in that room cried..except me. I was just too excited! I was very sad my misison was ending because it was such a wondrful experience..but I had served well and done all I could and now I was ready to move on to the next part in my life. I didn’t talk a lot about Josh to other missionaries unless they were my companion so it was pretty embarrassing the last night in the mission home when my president kept talking about it. He brought up me going home and getting married every 5 minutes! Everyone kept looking at me like ..what?? Definetly put more pressure that when I got home it better work out!
The night I got home from my mission was a very fun and exciting night. (More on that here) I couldn’t wait to talk to Josh. I got my mom’s phone because of course, I didn’t have one yet. I went into her car in the garage just like I did before my mission to call Josh and I remember I was so nervous/terrified/excited like I had never felt before. I remember I didn’t exactly know what to say or how to talk to him. I did tell him I wanted to put on facebook that we were dating as soon as possible because there had been some awkward situations for me that I wanted to take care of. I just wanted everyone to know!! I can’t really remember anything we talked about, just the thrill and excitement of talking to him again.