In the final episode of my series of adventures at the 2017 Lamplighter Guild, I show the closing ceremony and my trip back home, complete with strange noises from the jet engine on my last airplane.
It was really sad to leave all of my new friends and return to normal life... I hope this edit carries across some of how I felt during those two final days. Although sad, this my favorite episode of the series. I'm really happy with how it turned out and I hope you enjoy it too.
(click Read More to read my more-in-depth written account of the story)
Friday was officially the last day of the Guild. We opened with devotions as usual and then breakfast followed by the closing ceremony in which everyone got to see what everyone else had been working on during the week and Mark Hamby gave another speech and closed us out. It was sad when everything was over but I was glad I still got to have a little time with everyone before I had to leave to go back home. Shortly thereafter I saw Max playing a piano down in the tea room and a group of us hung around there playing piano and guitar for the next few hours. It was a wonderful time and really great to see the incredible talent of all the students. Between singing, playing instruments, drawing, and being very good in their crafts, all the students we had this year were incredibly talented and I can't wait to see where God takes everyone in the future. After that, about half of the group left for either the airport or to go home with their parents or drive home themselves and the rest of us hung around to catch the bus back to Mount Morris. We left a whole lot later than expected, but I'm not complaining because it meant more time with everyone. The only downside was that it meant we didn't get back into Mount Morris until after 11 PM. That night I managed to miss the shuttle back to where I was staying so I didn't get there until even later. As soon as I got back, I just went right to bed since it had been a long day.
On Saturday morning, it was time to say good bye to those who hadn't already left the night before. Grace and another girl brought us donuts for breakfast and then we had to be out the door at 9:00 or so to catch the shuttle to the airport. After saying good bye to those at headquarters who weren't flying out until later, I got in Luke's car (one of the interns who was heading up all the administrative work) with another guy and we headed off to the airport behind several other vehicles. I was very tired so I ended up resting a bit on the way. Soon we arrived and everyone had to go their separate ways although no one really wanted to... We all hung around for a little longer before we went to catch our respective flights. As I went to go check my bag I was fighting back tears as it's always so sad to leave such an incredible time with uplifting people and new friends. I got my bag checked just fine and then went through security where I was only patted down once (instead of three times like at DIA...) before getting through, still feeling very sad on the way to my gate. While walking there, I found out that my flight to Philadelphia was delayed for a couple hours (I had a layover there before getting on a plane back to Denver) so that gave me a bit more time since I was cutting it close by the time I actually got to the gate. I was praying that God would send along someone for me to talk to and sure enough, he did. Shortly after, a girl named Lori came along who was another one of the Guild students. I hadn't actually gotten to talk to her during the Guild, but we had a good conversation while at the airport and that helped to cheer me up a good deal. But alas, she eventually had to catch her flight and I was left on my own being sad again. However, that didn't last terribly long. Another Guild student came over to talk to me (followed by her brother) because they had to wait in the airport for an undetermined amount of time as their flight to Alaska had been cancelled, so I talked to them for a while. Eventually it got to be the time when my flight was supposed to leave and then I found out it had been delayed yet again and the plane wasn't even at the airport. Still, could have been worse. At least I had people to talk to. So then it got close to when I was supposed to leave and I got a text from my dad saying that I'd been rebooked. My flight was cancelled altogether. :P So then I went up to the American Airlines people and asked them about it and they said sure enough, I had been rebooked for the flight to Charlotte, North Carolina. Now that's good, but the only problem was... that flight didn't actually leave until 7 PM and I had been there since 10 AM... So yep, I spent literally the entire day at the airport. Thankfully when it was time for that flight to leave I was able to get on with no issues at all. Arriving in Charlotte though, that was another story. So we landed around 9:10 or so and my flight to Denver was supposed to leave at 9:40 or so. Half an hour. Plenty of time.. or so I thought. After we got on the ground we just sat and sat and sat and waited though. 9:20 came along and I was still not to the gate. 20 minutes, still doable. But then 9:30 came along and I was really starting to get nervous. We finally got to the gate but I was sitting at the literal back of the plane and everyone was taking an eternity to get off. Also there was a baby screaming her head off which wasn't helping things. Finally I got off the plane and absolutely booked it to the other side of the airport to catch my flight. The airport was soooo congested though. I think it was busier than O'Hare in Chicago. I got to the gate just in time for when my flight was scheduled to board but I noticed that they had the plane closed up and weren't boarding anyone else which made me wonder if I was too late. Thankfully it was a flight to somewhere I wasn't going though because my flight had been delayed and wasn't even at the airport yet. So I ended up going over and sitting down by another family to wait for my flight. As I was sitting there, the boarding time for my flight kept getting pushed back farther and farther and the line for customer service behind me kept getting longer and longer because tons of flights were cancelled. Eventually, boarding time for my flight wasn't until after 11 and there were probably 50+ people in line for customer service. Finally though, my plane arrived and I got to board. After that it was an uneventful trip to Denver, except for right after we took off when the engine right next to me started making really bad sounds. Needless to say, I prayed like mad because I was legitimately concerned that something might happen. Thankfully though, the sounds subsided a few minutes later. The trip to Charlotte and then home added several hours onto everything just because I had to go south in order to go west, but hey, at least I got home. I ended up sleeping for practically that entire flight to Denver. Once I arrived, I took the tram to the main building and then met my family outside baggage claim.
My trip was incredible for many reasons. First, it stretched me in a lot of ways as I had to be responsible for literally everything. I hadn't been in a plane in 10 years, let alone going on my own. The latter was a first time experience but a very rewarding one. I wasn't really worried at all except for just a little bit at the beginning when I had to rush around and didn't entirely understand what I was doing. God was with me the whole time and I knew he'd work everything out even with all the hiccups along the way. Secondly, I love meeting friends who have a heart for God and are passionate about the same things I'm passionate about. It's really refreshing because I don't get that often. Thirdly, the Lamplighter Guild drew me much closer to God. I came back with a love for the scriptures and a focus on those things which are really important.
Joshua does his best to stick to an upload schedule of posting a new video on his JRM Vlogs channel every Friday. This is where you can find all of his vlogs chronicling his adventures and experiences, as well as exclusive info that you can't find anywhere else!
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