Well time went on and we didn't really associate much, but we knew of each other. The day I was leaving the mission home in June 2009, my mission president and his wife, who I grew very close to over the second year I was in Tucson, pulled me aside and very gentley said that they think I should write Kenz a letter once I got home. I didn't think I would at the time she told me, but fairly soon after leaving Tucson, I decided too. Very long story short, and if you want the whole detailed story feel free to ask sometime, but Kenz and I wrote old fashioned letters back and forth every week for the next 14 months while she was still in Tucson. We dated between Utah and Idaho when she got home and finished her degree at BYU-I while I was at UVU and we got married 6 years ago this July.
Well a few years back the Church announced that a temple was going to be built in Tucson, AZ. We were both absolutely excited about the announcement and planned that when the open house would take place, we would try and make it down. Thankfully President Higham and Walker had similar thoughts and planned a mission reunion for all missionaries. Joann and Kelly were kind enough to watch the girls and Kenz and I flew down to Tucson from Boise on Friday and flew back first thing Sunday. This trip was absolutely rewarding and so fun.
Many know, I'm a pretty sensitive guy and a total cheeseball. I couldn't stop thinking on the flight down how cool it was going to be that we got to come back to Tucson, but also go down the same escalator together where we first met, not having a clue what would happen over the next 2 years after meeting in that airport. I was just thrilled and Kenz laughed and smiled as we landed in Tucson and planted our feet on the first place we met. I just couldn't stop smiling. We drove up to the temple pretty quickly and got ready for a photoshoot Kenz had planned with a photographer she knew from the mission days. We got up there at sunset and had several pictures taken around the temple. The location is perfect, just planted on the foothills, built with a style that matches a southwest kind of theme.
We got to spend a good amount of time with people we served with including the Walkers and Tyler Moss who I served with for 9 months of the mission. We got to sleep in which is very rare since our little girls are a natural alarm clock. We got to see my sister and her husband Bryce who used to live in Tucson, but now live up in Glendale while they were meeting up with some other friends at a splash pad for the kids to play. We had Sonoran Hot Dogs at BK tacos with Tyler Moss and went to see the Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson that we never happened to see while we were living there. We had fun reminicing of all the memories we created together.
We had a mild hotel mix up while we were there. We got checked in to this Best Western, but when we walked in the room, it was literally 95 degrees in side. There were bugs all over the bathroom and we decided we were not going to waste our time. We thankfully got switched over to a Marriott which had better A/C.
We went to the mission reunion and reconnected with old friends and faces we knew. They organized a special tour of the temple for us all that evening where we all went through and saw the inside of the temple. It was just beautiful and rewarding to see. I'm pretty sure that if this temple had been built 6 years ago, Kenz and I probably would have gotten married here. It was such a fun time spending time with people we love and miss who we would regularly see in Utah, but it was so special to be together in Tucson.
Not everyone gets to go back to the mission they served together with their spouse, and not everyone gets to go serve in the same place, but for us it is the same and we wouldn't have it any other way. So rewarding to be there together and experience this hand in hand. We've learned that things are always best when we get to do them together and I wouldn't have it any other way. We can't wait to take our girls here someday, to show them the streets we walked, the special memories we created and share with them the things we learned about seeing people as people and value in every soul, not passing harsh judgements as we all come from the same Heavenly Father who loves us more than we can understand. That day will come and I'm sure that the years will seem like days at that time, but for now it was just so nice and rewarding for Kenz and I to have two days together to reflect and soak in things that are so important to us.