We have watched this happen so many times since we've been here.
But it has always happened to other people -
This is the first time for us.
This young man is Elder Cooper, serving his mission in Laoag - about a 12 hour drive north of us. (We were there last month.) We encountered him at the Mission Home this weekend when we went there to celebrate Easter and watch the recording of General Conference.
Frequently, when the Flemings, the Senior Missionaries in charge of the MRC (Missionary Recovery Center), want to be able to join us, but they have patients they're responsible for, they'll just pack up their charges and bring them along too. Well, that happened Sunday morning. So that's how Elder Cooper found himself watching Conference with a bunch of old folks.
Elder Bell was talking to him and asked his usual question, "What part of Utah are you from?"
Really! That's his usual question because it seems that the majority of missionaries - old and young, turn out to be from Utah.
Elder Cooper's answer - I'm from California.
Oh, what part?
Oh, what city?
What part of Tustin.
Off of Redhill?
My son is a counselor in the Singles Ward down there.
Elder Cooper tells us that our son, John, is a major factor in his being on a mission! He said he was his Young Men's leader and was an important part of his life and a big influence on him while he was growing up.
We quickly compared notes and discovered that we've met his parents. We've heard John and Colleen talking about him many times. We even remember when he left for his mission because they talked about it.
How fun was this! And the major thing that he wanted us to convey to John and Colleen so they could contact his parents was that - he's OK! They knew he'd gone to the MRC, but he hadn't been able to communicate with them since then. So John and Colleen - get the message to them, all right?