Ron and Lucie Jarrett Reflect on “Coming Home”
A mission homecoming generally is held in the country you are from, not where you served. But for Ron and Lucie Jarrett, returning to Europe with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square proved to be a marvelous “coming home” of a different sort.
When the Jarretts left Salt Lake City in June 2011 to serve a public affairs mission in Frankfurt, Germany, Ron thought they had closed their chapter with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Neither he nor Lucie ever imagined that midway through their mission Ron would be called home to serve as the Choir’s president. After hearing the news, the European national directors of public affairs begged President Jarrett to bring the Choir and Orchestra back to Europe.
It happened sooner than anyone thought possible. Based on his mission experience, President Jarrett felt confident that a tour to Germany, Belgium, Holland, and The Netherlands would be enormously successful if two important concerns were addressed: the safety of the Choir and Orchestra and ticket prices that were affordable to the Saints. With considerable planning both pieces fell into place, and the Choir traveled through Europe trouble free, receiving standing ovations at seven concerts attended by thousands of Latter-day Saints and many others from the broader community.
On a personal level, Ron and Lucie did not anticipate how warmly they would be remembered by the members, public affairs associates, and even shopkeepers with whom they had interacted during their mission four years earlier. Their biggest surprise was walking into the tiny Kitz grocery store in Friedrichsdorf where they often had bought potatoes and meatballs. When the owner of the small shop saw them, she stretched out her arms and gave them each a huge hug. Lucie handed Gretel Kitz a concert program written in German to help explain their return, and the three of them basked in the warmth of an association that turned out to mean much more than any of them expected.
Ron and Lucie Jarrett—along with hundreds of members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square—have learned that home is where your heart is. And when your heart is with the people, you can experience a genuine sense of “coming home” anywhere you go.