Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Dad saw Elder Rife!
Michael is still at the MTC. He leaves for Korea 13 days from now. He will get his travel plans Thursday of this week.
His branch president is Yong-in Shin. President Shin and I have been friends since I served as a missionary in Korea in the early 1970s. Later, the Shins lived in Orem, far away from their families in Korea, and my mom and dad became surrogate grandparents to the Shin children. My parents were very fond of the Shins—and the Shins were very fond of them.
For a month or so, President Shin has been writing me saying “I want to visit your parents’ graves. When can we go together?” Each time, I’ve said I’m available almost anytime, just let me know.
Last night, I got an email message from President Shin saying “let’s go to the cemetery Tuesday (today) at 5 p.m.” He said “let’s go in your car and you can drop me off at the MTC after for the devotional tonight.” I said “great.”
We had a good visit on the way to Springville and on the way back to Provo. I put flowers on my parents graves—and we stood there for about 20 minutes, reminiscing about my parents and what good people they were. President Shin said “they would be (they are) very proud of Michael.” I agreed and said “they would be so happy that Michael is serving his mission in Korea.”
At the MTC, I dropped off President Shin in front of the main building (well, just south of the main building). As I was preparing to leave, I looked and saw Michael waving at me. He and his companion were out on the lawn, waiting for time for the devotional. So, I pulled over and parked the car next to the curb. I got out, waved him over, gave him a big hug, and greeted his companion. I told him how much we enjoyed his emails and that we could tell he was loving it and doing a great job. He had the chance to look inside my new car and admire it. I told him how jealous his mother and sisters were going to be when they heard I had seen and hugged him. He said “I love you—and tell the family I love them.” And I departed, not wanting to overdo the chance meeting.
What a great thing for me to get to see my missionary son briefly and to give him a hug before he goes to Korea in 13 days!