Our dear, dear friends the Johnsons returned home from their mission to Cyprus last week. We are so glad they took time out of their first few days home to come see us. All of the kids put on their Cyprus t-shirts to greet them.
The Johnsons used to live across the street from us. Seven years ago when we built this home they started the adoption process. Our kids were so little and they loved to go over to the Johnsons (Nicole started calling them the Johnsies and it stuck) and get treats. Sister Johnson had a "treasure box" full of little toys and goodies and each day she would let the kids answer a gospel question and then pick a prize.
So they started with the kids and then Alan and I wanted to be part of the action. R. Wayne and Leslie became our fast friends. They had dinner with us, shared Family Home Evenings and they attended all of the ball games and concerts that they could. Even this last week while they were trying to see all of their family - they made it to Courtney's first school basketball game.
Leslie was an Arizona State Representative and R. Wayne was a judge. They are civic minded and love giving service to the community, the church and their friends. One thing we really missed while they were gone was the help they gave us filling out our ballots at election times. They are the only people I know who research each one of the judges and keep track of the ones that make bad decisions and vote against them.
I have never met anyone who has as much love to give as the Johnsons do. Everyone that comes in contact with them can feel it. Every e-mail they sent us from Cyprus was all about how much they loved the people they were working with. There are several people that they met and taught in Cyprus that have plans to come to the U.S. soon.
Whenever Alan and I talk about our future, we consistently say that we will model our future after the Johnsons. If we can be half as spiritual, loving, generous and kind as they are then we will be all right. While we are sad that they no longer have a home in Mesa (they will live in their cabin outside of Show Low) we are so glad that they have returned safe and sound.
If you live in the area - we will be hosting an open house for the Johnsons at our home sometime after Spring Break. I will let you all know when it is going to be. If you read this and think that I won't remember to invite you - please send me an e-mail and I will let you know as soon as we iron out the details.