Thursday, August 3, 2017
Homecoming Address in Salt Lake City, Utah - July 23, 2017
Upon returning from a Mormon mission, a missionary gives a report in Sacrament Meeting usually on the Sunday after his/her return. Parker's grandfather Wilde invited him to give a homecoming address in Utah since he wouldn't be giving his address in his home ward in Danville until the next week. Parker gave such a beautiful testimony of the gospel and related three special experiences he had on his mission that showed the hand of the Lord in those people's lives. He, also, related how his mission helped him understand the gospel even more and increase his love for the Savior.
So many wonderful friends came to support Parker at his Salt Lake Homecoming. These are family friends, the Castles, who also lived in Shanghai when the Wildes lived there.
This family came quite a distance to be in attendance. Their son, Elder Sandberg, was Parker's last companion in the mission at Wilkes-Barre. They got along so well, and Parker was thrilled to see them there.
Another family friend, Suzanne Calton, who lived by the Wildes in Shanghai.
These three little girls in the dark pink are the adopted children whose mother is shown above with the Wildes. The other two little girls were friends of this family.
Parker and Ryan Andrus, who was not only Parker's trainer when he first went out on his mission, but they also served as Assistants to the President together. They were best buddies then and will probably be forever!
Parker was really touched at how many former missionaries from the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission were in attendance.
After the Sacrament Meeting, we all went back to Parker's cousin's home where his family was having a farewell party for him prior to his leaving on his mission to Ecuador this week.
After the farewell party was over and the guests had gone, we had a little Copeland family gathering. Both of our missionaries spoke--Elder Copeland . . .
and the former Elder Wilde.
Grandparents Copeland with all of the Copeland grandchildren, minus one missionary grandson who is currently serving in Scotland/Ireland. In September, Grandpa and Grandma Copeland will leave for 23 months to serve as Area Auditors for the Mormon Church in Eastern Europe, headquarters in Moscow, Russia.
All of the Copeland siblings and parents.
The entire Copeland family--minus our missionary.
This was such a wonderful time for Parker to see so many people that he hadn't been able to see for the two years he was gone. He definitely felt welcomed home from the many shown in the pictures above and many more who were in attendance.