Ever wonder what the plane looks like that the prophet flies around in?
This is it! My friend, Joanna Hardy, and her husband and his family run the airport here, in Safford. She invited us to be at the airport with her family when the prophet flew in. I was thankful for this because Joy couldn't understand why she wouldn't get to see him, even though he would be here.
At the airport, we were told by the bodyguards (there were about 10 of them) that we were allowed to take pictures, but that we couldn't yell or make a huge fuss. There were about 10 adults and 10 children in our party. Elders Walker and Costa of the 70, Elder Holland of the 12, and President Eyring and Monson were all there. I wanted to enjoy the moment, so I didn't get very many pictures. Only Presidents Monson and Eyring came over to say "hello," and all of the other guys and ladies got into the awaiting cars, so I didn't get any pics of them. President Monson was so funny and acted like a typical grandparent, "Let's see these kids," he said as he walked over. He gave the kids high 5 and shook hands with them. To Joy, who didn't say a word and was acting bashful, he said, "A shy one! That'll be a good trait to have in 10 years!" If only he knew! Joy is a very outgoing, boycrazy kindergartener.
After about 5 minutes or so, President Eyring started tugging on President Monson's suitcoat and said, "We need to go. You're going to get hot out here." Motioning to the terminal, President Monson replied, "Why don't we go in there where it is cool and visit then!" The exasperated, but patient Elder Eyring said, "Because we have things we need to do." After visiting, mostly with the kids, a few moments longer, they left. Wow! To stand just 3 feet from the prophet and be with him for 5 minutes! What a privilege! Joy was thrilled...and so were Dale and I!
A couple of miles from the airport, when Dale and I were driving home, we saw a huge bunch of cars and a sign "We love you President Monson." One of the bodyguards came to our cars and told us to drive slowly and that President Monson stopped to say hello. Sure enough, Presidents Monson and Eyring were on the side of the road shaking hands with a small crowd. By the way, there were about 6 cars for the group that was here with President Monson.
At the cultural celebration that night Dale, my sister-in-law Jenny, and nephew Bodie got to see the prophet and everyone with them (Dale and Jenny had to help with it since they were youth leaders). Bodie got to shake President Eyring's hand.
The temple dedication was wonderful and full of laughter and tears. There has been so much excitement in this valley ever since the announcement that there would be a temple here. Finally, we don't have to make a 3 hour trip any more! What an unforgettable weekend!