Ok, so Sammy's travel plans came in, and he is headed for Hawaii on Tuesday, August 13. Here was his message on the 12th. "I get to call home tomorrow at the airport. We leave here at 6:15, take front-runner up, and our flight leaves at 11:57. So I'm thinking I'll call sometime around 9-9:30ish."
For any who don't know, missionaries are allowed to call home from the airport on the day they leave the MTC. Other than that, we will only talk to him on Christmas and Mother's day.
Anyway, Sammy called home, and was talking to Carla. Unfortunately, I was in Raleigh, and he couldn't call both of us. So Carla was on with him, put him on speakerphone, and called me on the home phone and put the phones next to each other. I could hear every few words, but was feeling a little sad that I didn't get to talk to him well. I went back into meetings, when 45 min later I received a call from our friends, Steve and Sabrina Lindsley. (Steve was one of Sammy's favorite Young Men's leaders). I answer and Steve says "I'm standing here at the airport with Elder Merrill. He looks great. We are on our way to Hawaii for our anniversary and we are on the same flight with Sammy." He then let me talk to him for a bit on his phone. And he sent me a few pics, posted below.
Sammy talking with his Dad.
Elder Merrill and Elder Carter at Cafe Rio in the Salt Lake Airport
Sammy with Steve and Sabrina Lindsley
Sammy made it to Hawaii. Here he is in the airport. Steve sent this pic along with the following txt "We're here bro! He slept the whole way. Literally sat right behind me!"
Definitely a tender mercy to have him escorted over there and for us to know that he made it safely there. Now we wait until next week to hear where he's at and what's in store for Elder Merrill.