Hunter was set apart by President Jon Dionne, stake president of the Centreville Virginia stake on Monday, September 16. On Tuesday, after finishing packing and spending time with mom and dad, we loaded up Braden and Conner and took Hunter to the Dulles International airport to drop him off. Everything went incredibly smooth! After lots of hugs and some tears we said our final goodbyes and sent him through security. He was ready to go! His flight schedule would take him to Los Angeles where he would have a three hour layover and catch a midnight flight to Guatemala.
Jennifer and I dropped Braden and Conner off at home and went to a school open house. When we returned, Braden informed us that Hunter had called twice. He flight had been delayed due to mechanical problems with the plane and he was scheduled to depart now at 9:00 pm (we had dropped him off at 4:30 for a 6:30 departure). At 10:00 pm, we received a call from Hunter. His flight had been so delayed that he would not make his connection in LA. He had no choice but to book for the next day. He needed me to come and get him. I went and picked up a disheartened and disappointed elder! Having to come back home seemed rather anti-climatic! And to add insult to injury, Braden had already pulled out all of Hunter's clothing and made piles of what he was going to adopt. He had also moved into Hunter's room and was sleeping when Hunter got home. Poor Hunter had to realize that there hadn't been much mourning time before his brothers assumed his things!
The next morning we woke up early and took Hunter back to the airport for an 8:30 departure to LA. He was scheduled to arrive at 1:30 pm and then would have a 10 1/2 hour lay over! Luckily we were able to call upon Aunt Faye and Uncle Bob in LA who came to the rescue. The arranged to pick up Hunter and take him home to care for him, give him a place to rest and feed him well while he waited. They dropped him back off at the airport later that night and at midnight, Hunter was on his flight to Guatemala. He arrived approximately 5:30 am.
We only could hope that the Guatemalan MTC was aware that one more lone elder was making his way and would arrive a day late. We hoped they would be there to find the little lost sheep!! I sent an email to the MTC asking for them to confirm his arrival. Later today, we received this email communication. Note: I signed the email, Devin Toma - Father. Notice that he addressed it to "Sister Toma," wise man!!!
Dear Sister Toma,
Elder Toma arrived this morning on schedule. I just spoke briefly with him and he is tired. But that's normal for the overnight flight. After a good night's sleep he will be fine.
He should be able to send you a short email today.
This evening we received the following email from Elder Toma:
They're only letting me do a quick email to you to let you know I made it to the MTC safely and that I will be able to send another email Tuesday I guess that is what my P Day is. I have got quite a bit to tell you already having adventures down here. I'll let you know soon. Hope you guys are doing well. I'm extremely tired didn't sleep at all. I just went right to work and surprised everyone because I have been able to do everything when they usually let people that come late have a nap, but oh well I'll have plenty of sleep at some point. Again hope everyone is doing well talk to you on Tuesday.