Wednesday, April 2, 2008

On this day...

...nine years ago, I went to a mission reunion with my mission buddy Boyce. We were going to start some rumors by holding hands and acting like we were dating, but chickened out in the end. While we were there, a tall blond guy sitting on the stage said to me, "Aren't you Hermana Cole?" with not too nice undertones. He had to remind me that he was Elder Harper from Tooele, and then he reminded me how we had met about two years before on the side of the road near Coquimbo, Chile.

He likes to tell a different version of the story, but I'm the one with the blog, so this is the one you'll get. It was his first transfer, and he rode the bus overnight to the northern part of our mission (Chile Vina Del Mar) where he believed his companion would be waiting for him. The problem came in that he never actually spoke to his new companion, and the bus route he was on dropped him off on the side of the highway rather than at the bus terminal in town, where ALL the other missionaries were dropped off and met by their companions. He didn't know the difference, so got off the bus, with his luggage and sat and waited for his companion to arrive. He saw a truck pass by with four Elders, who waved and went on their way. Enter me. I had just picked up my new companion (who had had the sense to call me and make arrangements to meet at the terminal) with a member in her little red Toyota Tercel. It was a small car, but as I looked to the side of the highway and saw a tall, blond gringo with an overcoat and two suitcases, I was pretty sure it was a missionary, and that maybe he needed help. I asked the hermana to stop, and as we pulled over, I rolled down my window and confirming that he was a missionary, asked him, "Elder, where's your companion?" Of course my intentions were only to help the poor, stranded missionary and I really tried to muster compassion, wondering if his companion was on his way or if he might need a ride. The missionary, however, believed that I was calling him to repentance for breaking rules and being all by himself (something silly about a mean tone of voice, a glare or two, etc. etc.). Despite all of that, he accepted our offer to drive him to the bus terminal, so we packed him and his luggage in the already crowded car and delivered him to his companion. The next day at our zone meeting, we met again and when I found out he was from Tooele I asked if he knew a certain guy that had broken my heart just before my mission. He said he played soccer with his brother and that he was a cool guy. I didn't like him very much after that (in addition to the fact that most of the Elders were really immature anyway) and his dislike for me grew as well. He thought I was bossy and snobby and all-around not very nice. I was transferred out of the zone after a month, and he even wrote in his journal about my testimony, that I had said how surprised I was to actually have learned something from the Elders.

Fast forward to the mission reunion... I hadn't realized how much he disliked me, but his question, "Aren't you Hermana Cole?" made it all clear. With fresh eyes and no mission rules, I thought he was pretty cute (okay, really cute) and I guess he thought I was pretty cute too. We spent some time talking to our mission president's wife (Hermana Killian) who asked which one of the Elders I was going to marry. We all laughed and she asked Ryan and Boyce what fields they were going into--Ryan was studying computer mumbo jumbo and Boyce was going to be a teacher, so Hermana Killian said I'd be better off with Ryan, since he'd make more money. It was all really humorous. After the reunion Boyce and Ryan and I ate pizza at the Brick Oven with another Elder (can't remember his name, someone from Alaska?) and I invited them to breakfast and to watch General Conference at the duplex on Sunday morning. I have to confess, I wanted to have lots of cute boys at my house that morning because there was a guy from the singles' ward I was trying to ditch, but I also thought Ryan was really cute. We didn't end up listening to too much of General Conference, but Ryan and I really hit it off. After a few short months, we went to Hermana and President Killian's house to tell them we were engaged, and although they were happy for us, poor Hermana Killian was so distraught for Boyce because she was sure he was in love with me.

Nine years later, I am grateful that Ryan had the guts to approach me at our reunion, even though he was pretty sure he didn't like me at all.

Now that we've been married for so long, we are both assured that our first impressions were dead-on--I'm bossy, and he's just a bit immature (see previous post on April Fool's pranks)--but we love each other anyway and are so glad to be together. Here's to nine years, sweetie!

**Do you remember what you did nine years ago today?
**Could I have had any better luck at my reunion?

8 comments:

Jill said...

What a sweet story! I am so impressed that you have remembered the day of your reunion. I am sure that both of you are so glad that you decided to go that day!!

Cheri said...

Great story! I love the "how we met" ones, especially when there's such strong emotion behind them!

Gosh, 9 years ago I was still in high school trying to impress. I don't like to remember my high school years...

Janene said...

fun to read these memories. I love that he took note of your testimony.

Nine years ago, I was in the MTC, looking forward to taking the most excellent notes on conference ever. And leaving for the field a few days after that...

The Hale Family said...

That is a cute story. I love hearing how people met or got together.

9 years ago we lived in American Fork and Jerry was graduating from University of Utah Law School. It was quite an eventful year for us.

lArZ said...

I love to hear stories of how people met- and the girl's versions are always 10 times better- they have so much detail! Cute story! =)

Ashley & Matt Cole said...

So sweet, I remember the night of your wedding (we hadn't met) I was waiting for Matt to come meet up with our friends afterwards :)

9 years and 1 month ago I met Matt. Similar to your first encounter with Ryan he thought I was a snobby too.(it was hard for him to imagine why a girl wouldn't be giving him tons of attention immediately)

HarperHappenings said...

There must be something about meeting Harpers at church events :) 9 years ago I was living in Bountiful with my friends and attending the University of Utah. It was the year before I met Scott (again). We originally met in 1995 and I thought he was super cute. We were still in high school and he thought I was "weird" (his words!!). We both dated other people and went on with our own lives. In June of 2000, Scott had just returned from Ecuador and I moved home for the summer and we ran into eachother at a Institute dance. I approached him...I wasn't shy...and he was super hot!! He didn't think I was weird anymore! We began dating that summer and were married in June 2001. Fun to think back :)

Traci said...

Very fun to read. I guess it must just be a Harper thing. I thought Wade was snubby when we first met, too! And yes, we also met at a church-y thing.