Just a documentation of travel, by the Mom.
Alex's original travel plans given to him 2 weeks ago, had him flying out Tuesday, November 3rd bright and early in the morning.
Last Thursday later in the evening, after he had sent his last email, we received an email from him saying that his flight plans had been changed and that he would be flying out on Monday morning with all of the other Japanese Missionaries.
He was delighted. One day earlier was awesome.
So Monday morning he woke up at 2am to get checked out of the MTC and get to the train to ride it in to the airport.
About 6:45am I received a texted picture of him, from a strange phone number. It ended up being from another Mom who had decided to go see her son off.
So after texting back and forth with her, I told her to tell him to hurry up and call his mother. It was killing me waiting. By this point it was about 7:45.
Then he called from her cell phone.
He and a 7 other missionaries were standing in a line with a service agent trying to figure out why they didn't have plane tickets. The other 10 had left them to go through security, call their families and board the plane.
We spoke very briefly, and I told him that if he did make it on the plane, that was now boarding in 15 minutes and flying away in 45, just to take a picture of something in the airport and email it to us. (his camera has wifi, yay). Well, and hour went by and no picture arrived. We assumed that he was heading to the SLC East Mission home, but didn't know. He had just mentioned that during our conversation.
So, Steve (who is in North Carolina) called the Missionary Department of the Church. He was told that those missionaries were now heading back to the MTC to spend one more night and they would be flying out Tuesday morning (their original travel plans). So we waited and waited, and heard nothing.
Then about 11 o'clock, I called the MTC. A very grumpy lady told me that those missionaries were heading back to the MTC via Trax and Frontrunner, but she had not seen them yet. But at least I knew where he was headed. But he had no phone.....
So I ran to target, and purchased a cheap pre-paid phone and stuck it in the UPS stores MTC same day delivery. And emailed Alex that it was on his way.
We received an email at around 1pm that told us he was back at the MTC and that he had the phone.
At 7pm, I missed a phone call from him. :(
Tuesday morning, we awoke hoping to hear from him and again time passed with no word. I tried to call the phone but it was not turned on.
I started to expect the worst again, but then finally he called, he was all checked in and headed through security.
We had a nice chat for about an hour, he told us all about his adventure the day before, and we wished him well, asked him to try to call from Seattle, and said our goodbyes. About an hour later he called and said that they had boarded the plane, sat on it for a while, and then because of mechanical issues, they were asked to get off the plane and go to another one.
At this point they were about an hour late leaving and he was concerned about missing their connecting flight to Tokyo.
We said goodbye again, and he boarded the plane, called us from the plane and said that they were told that Seattle would be holding the connecting flight, and waiting an hour and a half for them to arrive. YAY!
He called us from the plane when they landed concerned that they were still going to miss the plane because they were still a little later than they had expected to be. I assured him that if the plane had waited an hour and a half, it would wait fifteen more minutes.
He then called from the new plane telling us he was on board and we said our good byes AGAIN!
Then about 15 minutes later he called telling us that they were now OFF the plane and that he had no idea what was going to happen now.
I assured him that the airline would take care of him. I asked if he was frustrated. He said that he had eaten and that really with the slight frustration of getting on and off planes, they really were having a good time. But now, he was sure that they were missing their connecting flight to Osaka. Again, I assured him that the airline would take care of it.
He called about 30 minutes later and said they were now on another plane and that if I didn't hear from him again, it meant that he was actually flying off.
We didn't hear from him again........
Until this picture at 5:00 am.
With one single line sent from his camera. "We are in a hotel in Tokyo, but we r safe".
He had actually arrived in Japan!!!!