It happened when we were at the missionary store trying to get the first of Max’s things gathered.
As a preface I must say that one of the things I’ve been thinking about so much is how much a Mission President influences the missionaries. I think everyone who has served a mission would tell you that one of the single biggest influencers of the mission is that man and his wife who essentially “parent” these kids as they are away from home for so long. Their responsibility is quite tremendous when you think about it: taking care of the physical and emotional and spiritual well-being of sometimes over 200 kids is probably quite daunting. The two mission presidents I had while on my mission influenced me in more ways than I can count.
So as soon as the shock and elation sunk in when Max opened his mission call, and we got all the tears and details talked over (back HERE), we went right to the section of his little mission booklet that talked about his mission president. It comforted me so much to know a little more about who that would be. He and his wife sound pretty outstanding, and Max is going to be in great hands. His wife keeps a mission blog that is incredibly helpful as we get ready to send Max on out there and I wish I could give them a giant hug in advance for all they will do for Max.
Mission presidents change every three years and Max’s will be done with his assignment in July. We’ve been so curious who the new president would be.
The morning Max and I headed out for our first round of mission shopping my friend (who has a son in the same mission) had told me Elder Teh from the Philippines had been called to serve as the new mission president. That’s about all I knew and was anxious to look up more info. when we got home.
So as Max was trying on suits two missionaries (current missionaries here in the desert) walked in to get some things they needed. I started talking to one and asked where he was from. When he told me he was from the Philippines I asked him to be sure I was pronouncing “Teh” correctly.
That cute elder looked at me in surprise.
Then he told me Elder Teh was in his home ward (congregation) back in the Philippines.
Not only that, but he was his home teaching companion back home (sometimes adults get matched up with younger men to help out various families in the congregation).
My jaw dropped. What are the chances that would happen that morning, at that moment, right when I needed a little boost? I was filled with so much gratitude as I talked to that awesome Elder for a little while about Elder Teh and how wonderful he is.
One of the best things he said is that he is in regular contact with him…to me that tells a lot that that man would take out time in his busy schedule to support this cute missionary giving his heart to people here in the desert.