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November 26, 2009

Forgive me, but it is Thanksgiving

There are 16,866,107 people that live in Chile.
Please consider that as you read this story.

My final months as a missionary were spent with a chap from Bolivia who had a last name of Vargas. He'd been baptized at age 17 by a pair of missionaries from Chile. Unfortuantely for my companion, once these two missionaries left his city, he never heard from them again. The contact information he'd obtained from them was either lost in the pocket of a washed pair of pants, or given to a friend who had needed the info and eventually lost the goods (think Martin Harris and the 116 pages). Either way, Elder Vargas had met two of the most important people he'd ever meet, and promptly lost all possibility of contacting them ever again.

Now at this point I imagine you probably have a good hunch about where this story is heading, so if you're seeking greater entertainment here is the link. But for those who want to finish the story ...

One day, Vargas and I were called on to deliver some mission materials to the post office in our sector. While cruising down a mile long walking mall loaded with people, we were stopped by a man. From the look of complete dumbfoundedness on the stoppers face, I figured the man was dead drunk. Helping me arrive to this conclusion was the fact that the man was hunched over, staring at my companions face as if he were in love with him. Well, turns out he was in love with him in a way. The stopper was one half of the combo who had baptized my Colombian sidekick three years ago. Their reunion was just as you'd imagine it to be:  hugs, tears, stories, and the trading of contact information (this time I copied the info for safe keeping). How this person happened to live in the same city that my companion would be called to serve in, how he managed to be running an errand at the exact moment we were, and how he managed to stop us considering the walking speed I employed, all blew my mind.

It would be blown further.

"Elder Hansen, I have something to tell you." We had been walking in silence for some time, pondering the mercy of God in letting us meet up with one of the persons who changed my companion's whole life for the better. "Two days ago I asked God in my prayer to let me contact one of the missionaries who baptized me."


God exists. He answers prayers. I know that. Though I am thankful for many things at this time of year (BYU football, food, my parents switch to high-speed internet), that one fact is what I ought to most appreciate.

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