Last night, I received two phone calls. The first was from a man I met in 1977 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The other from a friend I made while working at AT&T.
In 1977, I was a Mormon Missionary serving in the Colorado Denver Mission, and stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming. My companion and I had an old Temple Square visitor’s slip. Every time we went by the house, nobody was home. Every time we were on that street, we would stop and knock, and nobody would answer.
A member of our church lived next door. We were at his house having ice cream (he kept a freezer stocked with ice cream just for the missionaries), and as we were leaving, we saw a lady pulling in to the driveway of the house.
We immediately ran over and introduced ourselves and asked if we could share a message. The lady politely explained she was in a hurry, but she’d love to talk to us.
After that initial contact, we went back several times only to be told, “I’m sorry, I’ve got to go to…”. She had kids that were involved in after school activities, and a husband who worked for the railroad, and so it was going to be difficult.
Finally, one night we saw her car in the driveway, and we stopped and a man answered the door. We told him who we were and I was fully expecting to be told, “Buzz off”, but he invited us in. We taught them, invited them to be baptized, and they accepted.
This was the start of a friendship that will last for the eternities. I remember the feeling I had when I was asked to give their 7 year-old daughter a blessing because she was feeling left out because everyone else got to be baptized. That single event prepared me so much for fatherhood responsibilities.
Over the years, I have connected with their family several times. Last night, Brother Gerle called to say they would be in Palmyra at the end of May. We invited them to come stay with us. It will be really nice to see them.
Here’s a related video… (click here). When I watch this video of my friend Al Fox, I am reminded of people like the Gerle’s. There is a connection between a missionary and the people he/she teaches. And, there is a connection between the convert and their missionaries. It is a relationship that cannot be explained in words. It is humbling. It is joyous. It is one of gratitude.
The 2nd call I got was from a lady I worked with at AT&T. We shared a passion for mountain bike riding and fish tacos. She called to say they want to come out and spend a week with us.
Elizabethe and I bought fabric for one of my projects. (see http://projects.dbwalton.com ) Since we were near Trader Joe’s, I had to stop and buy some goodies – S.F. Sourdough Bread.
We then had dinner at South of the Border in Newark, NY. Perhaps I’m spoiled having actually dined in several regions of Mexico, or perhaps I haven’t tried the right item from their menu yet, but it just doesn’t feel taste like Mexican food. This is not to say their food is not good. Their food is fresh, but the seasonings do not remind me of Mexican food.
The new owner of South of the Border also owns the Pontillo’s further east on 31 in Newark. We met him briefly. They were quite busy so he didn’t have time to hear about Get It Done on 31 ™.