It all started with the directive for all missionaries to self-isolate and stay in their apartments.

Suggested Activities for Missionaries Working from Their Apartments
As representatives of Jesus Christ, missionaries should strive to always focus on their missionary purpose. Even during difficult circumstances, like we are experiencing now with the COVID-19 virus, missionaries should strive to find, teach, and “invite others to come unto Christ” in new and creative ways. This document is intended for mission presidents as they consider the circumstances of their missionaries. Based on missionary needs, mission presidents may select activities from this document to share with missionaries. The intent is to provide ideas that can help missionaries stay purpose centered, safe, and effective. Click on the link below to see how our young missionaries are going to stay busy and focused on their missionary purpose:

And then we received additional information from the Church on our Missionary work.  (Take note, we are one of the 6 Missions in the North America Northeast Area that is referenced.):

More Temporary Adjustments Made to Missionary Work
Missionary Work (Updated March 18)
Missionaries will continue to be called to serve and assigned to labor in missions worldwide. Missionary recommendations will continue to be received, and missionary assignments for worldwide service will continue to be made. However, some missionaries may be reassigned, and young men serving in the United States and Canada may conclude their service three months early.
All missionaries scheduled to enter missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, or Preston, England, will be trained remotely by video conference. Missionaries from regions where government officials are restricting activity will also be trained by video conference.
The Church is taking steps to reduce the number of missionaries in areas where coronavirus is of particular concern. These steps give mission presidents more flexibility to ensure missionaries are effective and safe and that there is adequate space to house missionaries if they are moved out of cities where there are greater concerns about infection.
Young missionaries with health issues and senior missionaries may be released from service. These exceptions apply to the following areas:
• 2 missions in the Europe East Area (as of March 18)
• 6 missions in the North America Northeast Area (as of March 16)
• 22 missions in the Europe Area (as of March 12)

And then the dreaded phone call from President Vest: I have just received word that your mission has been cut short - you are to return home as soon as you can - it's okay if it takes a few days, but you should quickly make arrangements to go home. President Vest told us no negotiating, he had already tried to keep us and the church said NO. Below is a copy of the email that our Stake President, Brent Byers received from the church that he forwarded to us:

Here are the referenced Guidelines for Self-Isolation
for Senior Missionaries:

We started packing Wednesday, March 18th, the same day that we got word that we were going home:

No, this NOT all of our luggage!

One Last Discussion with Chazia:
Chazia, Elders McOmber & Nielsen and Elder & Sister Spear – Teaching on a conference phone call. (Wednesday night before we left on Thursday.)

How did your reading go in the Book of Mormon this week?
I’ve been lazy. I read in the Bible, but not in the Book of Mormon.

What did you read in the Bible?
I read something that stood out in Hebrews Chapter 11:
We can’t trust without faith.
We have to follow the commandments and seek God in faith. God is a God of faith. It’s wonderful.

We want to talk about the Doctrine of Jesus Christ today and it fits in with what you read in the Bible this week. The Doctrine of Jesus Christ consists of:
The Holy Ghost
Enduring to the End

We access the atonement of Jesus Christ by faith.
Let’s read Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things seen.
When I talk to God, I have a feeling – a good feeling. But I also need to have faith.

Faith is a belief and action.
When we have faith, it will lead us to repentance.
DEFINITELY! Not because we are bad; but we need to renew ourselves.

We need to be baptized by one holding the authority or Priesthood of God by immersion.
And then we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Jesus didn’t leave us to be alone, He left us the Holy Ghost.

Baptism is a beginning of a new life, which leads to Eternal Life – where we can live with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

They cut off my sister’s lights & electricity. She’s afraid of the virus – that we are at the end of the world. But I know if I die, I go to Heaven, to our Father’s House.

Let’s read Alma 34:32
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

It says this life is the time to prepare to meet God. One of things that we must do to prepare to meet God is to be baptized. Will you be baptized?
YES! I have been expecting that question!
(BIG SMILE on everyone’s faces! I know we were talking on the phone – but take my word for it – there were BIG smiles all around!)

It will make such a difference.
AMEN! Thank you for teaching me and giving me the Book of Mormon. I love you guys…that you came into my life to help me be straight.

There was such an incredible sweet spirit. Chazia closed with a humble prayer. It has been our privilege to be able sit in on her discussions and to be there when she committed to baptism...just totally awesome. What a special end to our mission!

Goodbye to the Baruani Family
Goodbye to the Amuri Family.
Goodbye to Didas & Regina and their unborn baby girl.
Goodbye Sabina.

Sadly, we did not get a picture of Kiza and his family. These are the 4 mainstay families of the Swahili Group.

Goodbye Elders McOmber & Nielson
God be with you til we meet again. (Their apartment house in the background - they live on the second of three floors.)
Fake Smiles: Elders McOmber & Nielsen and Elder & Sister Spear
This is how we really feel. We had such a good time together - we will miss you.
A screen shot of my phone - from the bottom - 1. We got back Wednesday morning (barely - it was 12:06 am. 2. Then we got word that our gym, LA Fitness was closing down because of a national emergency - the Coronavirus - gyms were directed to shut down. 3. We got invited to join the private group of President & Sister Vests for returned missionaries - that really hit me - it was really over.
We don't have a corner on market - we're not the only ones going home. The church leased several Jumbo Jets to bring all of the missionaries home from the Philippines.
We never made it to the Anchor Bar: This is where Buffalo Wings were first served.
And with everything else going on - no one can find Toilet Paper!
Our son, Ryan took this picture at a Costco in Boise - the people were out the door and around the building waiting in line for TOILET PAPER!!!
Goodbye Buffalo - they love their buffalos in Buffalo. We had a great experience in Buffalo, one never to be forgotten.
Starting our trip from New York to Spokane Valley, Washington.
We next went through a corner of Pennsylvania.

Jack’s Counting Story: Who would you trust?

With kids everywhere home from school because of the coronavirus, I think we are all gaining a new appreciation for teachers.

Our grandkids Jack and Annie had an assignment to count to 200. Annie struggled at first but caught on and could do it.
Jack breezed to 100, no problem at all:
95, 96, 97, 98, 99 – then he got a little confused:
100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600…
No matter how hard everyone tried to tell him that it should be:
100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105…
Jack would not believe them.
Finally, Jessy (his mom) asked, Jack WHO WOULD YOU TRUST?
Jack answered: Alexa
So, they asked Alexa to count from 100 to 200.
Alexa counted: 100, 101, 102, 103…Jack said, OK, I get it. And he did!
You just have to ask the right source! He believed Alexa!

And then we went to Cleveland, Ohio to spend the night.
We drove 189 miles from Buffalo, NY to Cleveland, OH with a driving time of 3 hours and 1 minute. We stayed in the Residence Inn in downtown Cleveland. (Valet parking only - $29 per night.)
The Arcade in the Residence Inn in Cleveland
We drove by the Cleveland Clinic - Westlake Medical Campus. Our friend Cameron Lovinger went to school at here and spent most of his time on the main campus. We're not sure if he spent any time at this clinic.
Next we went through Indiana.
Sign says: Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Then we drove through Illinois.
Skyline of Chicago
Commuter train that goes down the middle of the freeway.
A billboard telling everyone to Wash Your Hands!
Then we drove through Wisconsin.
Gas was CHEAP - $1.79 for a gallon of gas.
Great Fund Raiser for the local School District - Go Golden Eagles. 2 Cents per gallon donated to the school. Sounds like a win-win.
And then to Minnesota 
We drove 742 miles from Cleveland, OH to Albert Lea, MN with a driving time of 11 hours and 18 minutes. We stayed at the Best Western Plus. It was pretty quiet.
We stopped at one of the Tollway stops that had a Burger King - the sign says: Premises for Take Out Food Only.
Burger King eating area!!! It is definitely take out only!!!
And then off to South Dakota.
Wall Drug has about a million small billboards advertising their business. At the Wall, South Dakota exit, there is an 80 feet dinosaur. After all the hoopla, we HAD to stop and see what it was all about.
Karen and the Wall Drug Dinosaur.
Wall Drug Store - a great tourist trap - the whole block had quaint shops.
Wall Drug Store.
More Wall Drug Store
More Wall Drug Store
More Wall Drug Store
Yes, more Wall Drug Store.
The walls are lines with beautiful old west paintings.
Thank goodness they had a bathroom. I've never passed a bathroom I didn't want to visit!!!
The restaurant - you could still eat in - they were doing take out only starting on Monday. We did eat lunch here, there was only one other person that came in and sat about 50 feet away.
Lots of fun statues in wall drug.
Karen hanging out with Annie Oakley
One of my gambler friends.
Mount Rushmore was closed, but you could still drive in and park and take pictures. It was nearly deserted.
Mount Rushmore.
Mount Rushmore.
Off to Wyoming.
We drove through Buffalo, Wyoming - I had to include a picture - I'm kind of fond of places named Buffalo!
Coronavirus - Get the real facts: HEALTH.WYO.GOV
Montana here we came.
We drove 829 miles from Albert Lea, MN to Billings, MT with a driving time of 12 hours and 15 minutes. We stayed at the Springhill Suites. They told us they had 13 of 75 rooms rented out. Way too few!!!
It's official! We got more snow on the way home in March than we had in January 2019 when we drove to New York. (On our way to New York, we did not have even 1 snow flake. And in Billings, you can see we didn't really have a snow storm - it spit out a few flakes on the windshield. So, I think we can safely say that it didn't snow on us coming or going. What a great blessing!
Another Coronavirus warning in Montana.
Finally, we made it to Idaho.
Oh yeah, some real familiar territory - we love those big mountains and we missed them. Just on the Idaho side of Lookout Mountain..
What a great sight for tired eyes - our home state of Washington.
We made it home - at least our temporary home. We drove 532 miles from Billings, MT to Greenacres, WA with a driving time of 7 hours and 55 minutes. Since we are self-isolating, there were no hugs and kisses allowed. All we got was a sign! Now, don't get me wrong, it was a wonderful sign - but after 15 months, we sure would have enjoyed some hugs and kisses.
Nice back deck where we could "receive" visitors. The "queen" of the house returning a friendly wave to her regal gathering (our children)! No touching, so we got to visit with our children and grandchildren from a safe distance above.
Our regal visitors: Katie, Emily, Kirt and Garret
More regal visitors: Nixon, Michelle, Ike, Jon, Sadie & Scarlett
Because we have to self-isolate for 14 days, we needed to find somewhere without people! We sold our home, so we had no where to go. Friends of Michelle offered to let us stay above the barn for our 14 days.
Nice view off the deck.
Karen already enjoying the beautiful setting.
And of course, I wasn't about to be out done.
Living room
Dining room
Study/Extra bedroom
Master Bedroom
Karen already at work in the kitchen
What a great mission, we made it home. We put 48, 078 miles on our original 2016 Highlander. We put 5,211 miles on our replacement 2016 Toyota Highlander. Total miles driven on our mission: 53, 289 miles! 

With heavy but grateful hearts, our full time mission has come to a conclusion.

We loved our mission. It was hard at times. It was disappointing at times. It was discouraging at times. We were under-appreciated at times. But we wouldn't trade our experiences for anything. Because we learned and grew stronger from these challenges. Yes, old Senior Missionaries still have plenty of room for growth. Our joy far outweighed any negatives. We loved serving the members in Massena and Buffalo. We loved being a part of those who listened and learned and embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ. We loved the missionaries that we served with - these young servants of God are remarkable. They are dedicated. They are so obedient. They are so strong and stalwart. We loved our mission president and his wife, President and Sister Vest. We loved constantly feeling the spirit.

We received so much more than we gave. We are so grateful for the blessings that were poured out upon our family as we served. The Lord has been so mindful of us and our family. We are so grateful to live in a time when the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored upon the earth. We know that Russell M Nelson is a prophet of God. He has been called in this time and this place to prepare us for the second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. President Nelson is inspired and is a lighthouse on a hill helping us negotiate these challenging times. We invite all to come and listen to our Savior and Hear Him. You will feel peace. You will experience joy. You will feel safe. You will feel loved. Come Follow Him!