I know today's not Friday... but I thought I would post this for you anyway.
Randal on his mission in Brazil
So, where was I? Oh yes, I didn't see Randal again until beginning of October 2002. In fact, it was in Salt Lake City during General Conference. I had come with my family for the dedication of the Conference Center and he had come with a friend's family for the same purpose. And wouldn't you know it, we were staying in the same hotel. He told me he had gotten his mission call - to Brazil - and that he would be leaving the next month. I was happy for him and we saw each other in passing quite a few times that weekend. When it came time for him to leave, he called me up and asked me if I could come to his missional farewell in church the Sunday before he left. I would have liked to have gone, but another friend of mine was leaving on the exact same day and his farewell was on the same day, at the same time. So, it was not to be.
Fast forward one year. I was in Salt Lake City again for General Conference, this time I was with one of my roommates and her boyfriend (or was it fiance? I can't remember if they were engaged at this time or not).
Wait, let me preface this a little with what was going on in my life at that time. It was just a month after 9-11, a hard time for the whole country, my younger sister was getting married to a guy a didn't get along with (sorry Brian, we both know that's the way it was), my most recent ex-boyfriend was also getting married - only 4 months after telling me he loved me, I might add, and two other ex's were pursuing another one of my roommates. It was a hard time.
So there I am up at Conference. It was great - and just what I needed. I felt so much better that weekend and loved hanging out with Audrey and Tanner (my roommie and her bf). We actually did more than one road trip, the three of us, and I never felt like the third wheel. (They may have felt like I was a third wheel). I really loved hanging out with them. But anyway, this is what I wrote in my journal about that weekend:
So, General Conference as wonderful. You know what is so strange though? I thought about Randy all weekend long.... I guess I was just thinking about him because he is such a good guy and all.... I really miss having someone think so highly of me [remember all the nice things he used to say about me? And remember I was going through a pretty tough time then]. So, I decided to write him a letter. I don't really think anything will come of it, but I really need write him - I have been thinking so much about him and I feel so bad it has taken me this long to do it.So, next I wrote him a letter. But I didn't have an address to send it to, I didn't know what mission he was in (because then I could just look it up online), I didn't have any phone numbers for any of his old roommates or his family or anybody who would have his address. So, I turned all Sherlock Holmes and went with what I did know. I knew the ward (congregation for those who don't speak Mormon) he was in and so I went to his church building to find the plaque I was sure they put up for him showing a picture and where he is serving. But, of course, there was no missionary plaque. He had left from a single's ward and since he was the only missionary that had ever been in their ward (usually they leave from their family's ward, but Randal was the only member of the church in his family) there was no plaque. "Well," thought I, "maybe his bishop is around here somewhere giving interviews or something and I can ask him." So, I found his bishop's office, but no one was there. His name was on the door though. So, I found some other people and asked where I might find Bishop so-and-so. They told me that he does interviews at his home, which is just around the corner, and here's his address. This is where it get a little stalkerish.
When I went to his bishop's house, I just kept thinking that I look crazy and like I'm stalking Randal and what should I do and blah blah blah. You know how girls go on and on, right? But, I rang the doorbell anyway. When his bishop answered the door, I told him who I was and what I was doing there, and he said, "Oh good, my intereview didn't show up tonight!" So, he took me into his office and sat me down and started "interviewing" me. Asking me how I knew Randy and about myself and so on. After sometime, he finally did give me the address. So, I went home and mailed my letter. It was October 20th.
On February 11th, I finally got a letter back. I got a tape too. So began our courtship. What?!? Well, I consider this the time when we really got to know each other. We would talk for hours on these tapes that we would send back and forth, and after a couple of letters, we began emailing each other every week. I would often drive the 20+ minute trip home during my lunch break at work, just to get a letter from Randal that had come that day. It was a fun time.