We had the pleasure of talking to Elder James two times this week while he was traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia. On Monday night he called from the Salt Lake City airport. I was nervous as it was getting later and later and his flight's departure was getting closer and closer. He finally called, but only had about 10 or 15 minutes to visit. They decided that they wanted to get Cafe Rio (a favorite local restaurant in Utah and now in the airport) to take and eat on the plane. I found out later that it was in the other terminal and they almost missed their flight! They arrived at the gate 10 minutes before the plane took off! They said it was worth it. Can you imagine, nine elders missing their flight because of Cafe Rio?
They flew from SLC to LA Monday night and had a short layover where they had to check in for their international flight. They took Cathay Pacific from LA to Hong Kong. Elder James said it was such a nice airline with great service and yummy food. When he sat down, he decided to take his jacket off and put it up in the overhead bin. The flight attendant saw him and hurried over to get it. She took it, hung it up and gave it to him at the end of the flight. It was a 17 hour flight and he was able to sleep most of the time, despite the fact that he was in between two Chinese businessmen that were speaking Chinese. He said that a lot of the flight attendants were from Malaysia and spoke Malay (very similar to Indonesian). He loved being able to talk with them. He said he did a pretty good job except for one gentleman who spoke very fast. He was woken up once by the flight attendant when she gave him noodles in the middle of the night, and he said it was really good. They had some kind of porridge for breakfast that is made of mashed up rice.
They arrived in Hong Kong at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 31 and he was able to call once again. It was a huge surprise, as I didn't think he was going to call again. I was thankful that we had given him our Net2Phone calling card information for Hong Kong. It is a great phone company that we have had for years where you put money in your account and can call from all over the world with different access numbers. Others used calling cards they purchased in the MTC and weren't able to call as easily. We were able to talk for about 30 minutes while he was at the airport, until he needed to go back through security. He said he loved the Hong Kong airport. They had some yummy ramen noodles with scallops (he's all about food, so we always hear what he eats).
Elder James spoke to us in Indonesian and bore his testimony about the Book of Mormon. It was wonderful to hear him speak this foreign language!
He should arrive in Indonesia at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31. Because of the International Date Line, he completely missed Tuesday, October 30th. But, I think he is okay about skipping a day. He is more excited than I have ever heard him and that makes me excited for him. Although I miss him with all my heart, I am proud of where he is and what he is doing to serve the Lord. I am grateful I got to hear his voice and can't wait until Christmas. I will not need any presents this year!