My awesome baby brother Jared or Elder Bailey just got back from his 2 year mission for our church (we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints go here to find out more about our church and what he was teaching). He was called to the Kobe Japan mission. He left the end of June 2010, right after our third son, Tayton, was born.
I think he is an amazing young man. He conquered a lot of odds to get on this mission. He got a job, took himself to church and had lots of help from people who loved him and supported him and knew what a great missionary he would be. He has an amazingly strong testimony and a great love of people. He is such a comedian and makes people feel love all the time. I know that the people of Japan loved having him, but the people back here in the United States missed him a lot. I loved reading his emails and getting letters from him. I thought about him often while he was gone and thought about all the work he was doing to bring people unto Christ while he was gone.
The tsunami’s happened while he was in Japan and so that was something he went through and will always remember. He said that instead of it bringing people unto Christ it made people question whether or not there was a God. He said it was the “if God really loved us and cared, why would he let this happen to us.” I’m sure there were lots of interesting discussions in the aftermath of the disaster.
The missionaries only get to call home twice a year, on mothers day and Christmas. Since we lived in the same city as my parents we were able to go to their house and talk to my brother 3 of the 4 (we were in Alaska visiting family for the last phone call) times he called (in the two years).
He got home on July 20th, 2012 (our mom’s birthday) and we went to the airport to pick him up. We all spread out at the airport because there were 4 places he could come out into the terminal. He came down the escalator right by me, so of course I had to start screaming and yelling and cheering. And of course he had to throw up his arms and give me the “what up?” sign, because he is still my super silly, amazingly dorky, totally awesome little brother. (he even wrote some missionary rap songs while he was gone, he made me laugh so hard singing some of them to me. That kid is going places I tell yah, people will know his name that’s for sure.)
Welcome home Elder Bailey, er Jared.
Of course he had to talk to his Bishop, who was out of town.
Tayton was so excited, he doesn’t remember my brother because he was less then 2 weeks old when he left but he warmed up to him really fast.
So many of his friends came out to see him. And then they took him to see Batman after his dinner of Taco Bell. When we asked him what he wanted to eat for dinner he said, “Tacos. They have no clue what a taco is in Japan.” and then he said he wanted Taco Bell because he heard they had dorito flavored Tacos. Really? of all the tacos you can get, you want Taco Bell? But the RM gets what the RM wants. He told me about Japanese food, like octopus balls and I was glad we were eating at Taco Bell.
My awesome baby brother. (yes I AM the oldest and shortest of all my siblings.)
Landon has been practicing his Japanese so he could talk to Jared when he got home. He timidly walked up to Jared and said, “
こんにちは (Kon’nichiwa)” (hello)
Jared didn’t hear him so he came back to us and made this face, I told him to go back and try again but to wait until he was sure Jared was listening, so he did and got to hear Jared speak Japanese (which was totally wickedly awesome).
The Elder with his parents and our Grandma! She always makes it to everything, she is pretty awesome. She is 70, lives in Alabama and is the matriarch of our family. I hope I have as much fun and energy as she does when I am 70.
When he met Aowyn she was holding my hand and he said “Hi, can I shake your hand.” She looked at me and then at him and smiled, let go of my hand and grabbed his. It melted my heart, it really was so precious. She loves her Uncles very much.
Elder Bailey/Bailey San
One of the signs we made him.
Jared and Tayton meeting again (after 2 years for a barely 2 year old, so pretty much for the first time).
The next night I made Jared come with us to get some REAL Tacos. We went to Mama Maria’s or as my boys call it, Papa Maditos ( I laugh everytime, I’m not sure where they got that from.) That place is so yummy, a nice whole in the wall mom n’ pop restaurant.
I’m so glad to have my awesome baby brother home and all grown up. I am sad that we moved 7 days after he got home but I am hoping he will come to visit us soon.
Thank you, Jared, for serving the lord and his people in the portion of his vineyard that he needed you in.