LDS missionary returns home in time for holidays

Posted at 6:53 PM, Nov 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-21 21:17:28-05

SALT LAKE CITY – Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to reunite and celebrate with family. The Salt Lake International Airport was full of reunions, some waiting longer than others for their family members.

Elder Bryan Rayfield is one of over a dozen LDS missionaries who returned home Wednesday. But his family says he almost didn't make it.

“They were having a transportation strike in Argentina,” said Rayfield’s mom, Heidi. “So everything was shut down.”

With air travel out, Rayfield and other LDS Missionaries made the trek by bus to neighboring Chile. Rayfield says he didn't know how they’d make it home from there.

“We stayed in Chile for 10 hours on a layover,” says Elder Rayfield. “Then we flew out that night, went to Atlanta this morning. Now we’re here. It’s been a long travel.”

But definitely worth the ride. The Rayfields say they showed up at the airport not really knowing if Bryan would make it.

Amid the tears of joy and hugs, Bryan says the reunion is a reminder of what they have to be thankful for, their family.

“That’s the best part,” says Elder Rayfield. “Being able to see the family, being able to spend time together. Being able to celebrate.”

“It’s a good time for people to kind of focus on each other a little bit,” says Dave Rayfield, Bryan’s dad.