I got a call last night from a woman in Fort Collins, Colorado. "Hello, I am a divorced member of the Church living here in Fort Collins. I approached my Bishop about the possibility of housing missionaries. He said that there was a list. Two days ago he called and said that the new missionaries' housing had fallen through, and could I take them in? So last night I welcomed two young men, one of whom is an Elder Makechnie. As I tried to orient the young men to their new living arrangement, I found Elder Makechnie to be distracted. He was playing with a toy that had belonged to my father, and couldn't seem to focus on what I was saying. So to get his attention, I asked him where he is from, and he enthusiastically said, "New Hampshire!" and hauled out a map. I protested that I didn't need to see a map to know about New Hampshire, but he proceeded to point out Andover anyway. I said, 'Elder, follow me.' I took him upstairs to the study and pointed to an oil painting. 'Where do you suppose that farmhouse is?' I asked him. 'Well, it sure looks like New England,' he answered. 'And what lake do you think that is in the background?' 'Well, it sure looks like Lake Winnipesaukee,' he answered sheepishly. "And do you know, I attended the Laconia Branch of the Church?' 'Wow! Really? Did you know an old lady there that was..... like.... the first Mormon in New Hampshire?' he asked. "Do you refer to Rhea Guild, Elder?' I asked. "Yeah! I was at her funeral!' he exalted. I went over to the computer and pushed a few keys and up popped a slide show of her funeral. 'Hey, there's Brother Tom Morrison!' he shouted. 'And Brother Stephenson, and there's my Mom... and there's ME!'Pretty sure I had his attention now, I pointed to myself on the screen and said, 'I spoke a the funeral. Rhea Guild was my mother, I am Marsha Guild Gibbs."
It's a small world, after all.Sister Gibbs also told me that Elder Makechnie's new companion is from American Samoa, and that they spent the better part of the day yesterday trying to get news off the internet, after the awful tsunami. So far, it seems that the news is good.