See this nice couple below? We passed them as we were both strolling opposite directions behind the temple to see the beautiful florals in full bloom! I decided to ask them to take our picture....
The photo they caught will show you even more of the
lovely flowers. They are just in full array right now!
Well, we traded photos and let them email it to themselves, then we began to talk. It was a beautiful evening, and neither of us was in a rush. It turns out they were just up from London to surprise their little grandson on his birthday. " London? I served my mission in that area."
"Yes, I was in Crawley...."
"Crawley? My father served as branch president in Crawley! I left on my mission from there in 1971."
"What? I was there in 1970. We were in the same branch!"
Well, about half an hour later, these two were still talking about their little branch and people they might have both remembered. This brother is now going to look for old photos of their branch and send them to Elder Meese..... a connection he has wanted since we've been here. ("I wish I could have found my old journal with names and addresses before we left..."). Pretty amazing?
Here's another even MORE bizarre coincidence: A few days ago we were out in Penwortham after a visit and decided to call "Helena", a newly-pregnant mother of three in our ward, to see what we could do for her. So I dialed. "Hello, Helena, this is Sis. Meese. We were in your area and thought we'd see if we might drop by for a visit. (Oddly enough, she didn't really sound like herself )
"Uh, sure. The house is a mess, and the kids are playing all around me....but if you want, you're welcome to come by." "Great. We'll be there in about two minutes."
But when we arrived and we knocked, no one was home. After several tries, we decided to redial the number and tell her we were here. "Hi, Helena, your house number is '99', isn't it?"
"Uh, no, we're at 32 Elm."
"Wait...is this Helena?"
"No, this is Pam."
"Oh my goodness...I'm so embarrassed. Do you even know who this is?"
"Yes, you're Sis. Meese. My parents said you might call. You're a missionary."
Insert explanation: We had been trying without success to reach Pam for days and days. We had just about decided to give up for now. How could this suddenly be PAM?????? It was one of those moments like when Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones picked up the hitchhiker and he says his name is 'Graham, Archie Graham'. Elder Meese and I just looked at each other utterly speechless!! We then drove fifteen minutes BACK toward our house, finding out she lived only a few blocks from us!
We had a lovely visit with this delightful woman.
Now, had I known I was calling Pam, I would NEVER have used such a casual, off-handed greeting on the phone as though I already knew her. Why did it all work? I think the Lord really wanted us to find this sweet lady. And....what would have happened if Helena had answered her door???
Well, I have some great tidbits to close with:
Tidbit #1 - Reason #28 why it's great to have Sister missionaries in your area. They send you sweet notes to thank you for every single thing you've done in the past three months....for no reason!
Tidbit #2 - The Book of Mormon class is 'morphing' rapidly. Last week we had 14, and it's threatening to outgrow our sweet little room! (By the way, Elder Meese is a great teacher for this!)
Tidbit #3 - Our Preston temple President and matron, the Murrays. Does he bear a strong resemblance
to anyone's former senator? Hmmm????
Tidbit #4 - To close, take a little trip with me as Elder Meese drives us to Longridge to have some authentic Indian food!
On that note, have a great week. We love you all!