While I was a missionary in the MTC, I was informed that my visa to Hungary had not arrived and I would be sent to the San Fernando, CA mission to serve until the visa came through. I was excited. Mostly because Hungarian scared the pants off me and I was pretty sure my mouth was not made to form some of the sounds Hungarian required.
Anyway, I lived for nearly 3 months in Lancaster, CA which is--I don't remember exactly--but somewhere around 1.5 hours north of The Valley. It was a hot, dry, windy, allergy ridden place. But I loved it. So much.
Then my visa came. I went to Hungary. And I eventually lost contact with the people in Lancaster that I loved.
Until tonight. I went to a Relief Society Meeting and there was President Dodge preparing to speak to us. President Dodge. Deep Doctrine Dodge. He was a member of the Stake Presidency and a member of the Sierra Ward that I had served in in California. I ate dinner at his home several times. I sat spellbound every time he shared spiritual thoughts. When he saw me crying through church because I had a companion that nearly drove me insane he invited us over and gave me some amazing counsel that I still have written on a notecard in my scriptures.
I loved that man. And I was able to tell him that tonight.
He told me a hilarious tidbit (along with deep doctrine, hilarious tidbits were something he was always good for) about his grandparents. They had 18 natural born children. Among them were 4 sets of twins. [If I hadn't seen the pictures I wouldn't have believed it]. The truly hilarious part is what their names were: Loren and Orin, Veldon and Velda, Lola and Zola, and my favorite Herbert and Thurbert. Why didn't we think of those names for our boys?
[The photo above shows President and Sister Dodge, my Kiwi companion, and me. My other companion was taking the picture. A little disclaimer about how bad I look in that photo...at the greenie stage of my mission I was much more concerned with study than my hair. ]