Missionaries and best friends


When you’ve been in the MTC for several weeks and you know your way around, you might be lucky enough to help welcome new missionaries on their very first day. Here’s how it works: you wear a “host” badge and stand at the curb, greeting the newcomers as they are dropped off by their families and say their goodbyes. It’s quite a procession, and the long curb that curls around the corner of the MTC is lined with orange cones where families park and unload the luggage and their nervous new missionaries. It happens every Wednesday, and it’s designed to be a quick and orderly process. It’s also somewhat random; families are given a number that matches a cone and that’s where they go. Host missionaries smile and welcome whomever pulls up to their assigned spot.

This past Wednesday, Charlie’s best friend Bryce was entering the MTC, called to serve in the Canada Calgary mission. Charlie was anticipating his arrival, but he didn’t know when or where. Hundreds of missionaries are dropped off on any given Wednesday, so the chances of greeting him when he arrived were slim. The chances of finding him at all amongst the 3,000-plus missionaries living there could be just as slim. That is, if you think of it as chance. If you believe, as we do, that the Lord can orchestrate events in our lives because He is mindful of us, then you’d have to agree that what happened this past Wednesday was a gift. Here is what he wrote to us:

Well guess what!? Yesterday I was busy standing at the curb, wandering around, looking for Bryce’s car, hoping that he would show up. The problem was that I didn’t know if he was coming to the MTC by shuttle from Salt Lake or if his parents had driven him up, so I had no idea how to find him. So I said a little prayer, “Heavenly Father, please help me find Bryce!” Five minutes later I was standing at an empty slot on the curb when all of a sudden a small silver car pulled up to it, and lo and behold, Bryce was inside waving at me! As soon as he got out of his aunt’s little car I exclaimed “Bryce! Get in these arms!” and gave him a big hug. It was awesome. Not only did I see Bryce, but I got to host* him! And not only that, his dorm is right across the hall from me. I prayed again, “Ten-no Otoosama, domo arigato gozaimasu!”* It was awesome. I made sure to capture the moment, and here is the picture.

*host–be the new missionary’s MTC tour guide for the day

*Heavenly Father, thank you so much!

Charlie meets his best friend Bryce at the curb!

Charlie meets his best friend Bryce at the curb!

Charlie and Bryce have been best friends since our family first moved to Arizona seven years ago. We’ve watched them grow up together from the age of eleven:  building Legos, building rockets, camping as Boy Scouts, playing volleyball, and playing piano duets in concerts, side by side. Now, as fate would have it, they can spend two weeks together in the MTC before heading separate ways to serve the Lord for two years, thousands of miles apart. But we know it wasn’t fate. It was a tender mercy. Godspeed, Elder Corning and Elder Bahr!


About eldercharliebahr

Charlie is from Oro Valley, Arizona. He loves volleyball, sushi, piano playing, and rocket building. When he was little, he wanted to grow up to be Superman. For now he will use his superpowers among the people of Japan, as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

One response »

  1. I have tears in my eyes and goosebumps! I love these boys and Heavenly Father loves them so much more! Great missionaries these two:)

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