It was two weeks ago that I volunteered to accompany our ward’s young women on a ten-mile hike during girls camp. It sounded like the trip they planned – Rafting the Provo river to Vivian Park – then hiking from Vivian Park to the Provo Temple – sounded like a fun day to spend with my beautiful daughters.
It was hot and sunny and the hike was pleasant and enjoyable. It was great to see Kate and Krisser since I said goodbye to them on Monday and do a hike that didn’t go straigh uphill.
We finally arrived at the Provo temple around 6:30. Karli had also volunteered to pick some of the hikers up and drive them back to girls camp at Aspen Grove.
For the record – we do know that Thursdays are Dallin’s ‘exercise’ day – which are one day before his P-day. He told us in one letter that he usually plays soccer on that day. We didn’t know what time he exercised, nor had we planned with him to accidentally ‘meet’ him while he played soccer.
So – as we finally made it to the west side of the temple complex, I looked over and saw a pretty large group of elders playing soccer. Thinking to myself – ‘I wonder if Dallin is playing’ I veered off from the rest of our group and walked straight to the soccer field. Since I didn’t see an Elder resembling Dallin, I turned eastward towards my group. A few second later I ran into a ‘white tag’ missionary instructor who asked me what our group was doing at the temple. I told him about our cool hike and how we had just finished it.
He then asked – ‘Are you with that group?’
That’s when my self -awareness finally kicked in. He wanted me away from the missionaries playing sports. I took the hint, told him goodbye and caught up with the group, passing by missionaries playing sand volleyball.
Our hikers were taking pictures and were walking around to the back of the temple when I saw Karli and felt a strong impression to go say hi to here. I got in the car and we thought it would be fun to drive by the missionaries playing sand volleyball.
As we did, we were amazed to see Dallin turn around and wave to us with a big smile on his face. Talk about a blast of emotion. We could tell he had no intention of coming to us to say hi – and after my interaction with the missionary teacher I wasn’t going to do it either.
We drove back to the temple parking lot and could watch him from behind the fence.
We then decided to walk across the street, sit in the shade and watch him play volleyball from a pretty good distance. We didn’t want to get him into trouble, but it was therapeutic to see him, even if it was far away.
He turned around and waved a few times – we waved back. 🙂
After about 10 minutes, we went back to the temple parking lot and told Katelyn and Kristen who had just finished walking around the temple. They saw him through the gate and waved. (and cried)
It was nice to read Dallin’s letter today to hear that he regarded the experience as a tender mercy from a loving Heavenly Father – just like we did. It’s good to see him happy and engaged – he’s still the sweet kid he was when we dropped him off three weeks ago.