On our drive home from Utah I had lots of time to reflect on things. My thoughts wandered in my head over various subjects and experiences until they rested on one particular story...
Tyler and I had been married 3 months. Life was good as newlyweds. We lived in a cute duplex in North Boise. We had our own little yard and garden. We went out to eat quite frequently because I told Tyler after working 8 1/2 hour shifts in 120* on my feet... I didn't want to come home to cook in the hot kitchen.
We were both completing our summer internships for college. I worked as a florist just about 2 miles form our home and Tyler worked for a company called Assist 2 Sell. He even drove around this new scion with Assist 2 Sell advertisements printed all over it. We didn't mind the colorful images plastered all over the car... it was free for us to use and the company payed for gas. They specifically told Tyler to drive it everywhere... after all it was advertisement for them, right?
At the time Tyler had a 1995 Grand Jeep Cherokee. It was one of those silver/ beige colors which looked different depending on how the light hit it. We liked the jeep. It was practical in the winter because it had four wheel drive for snowy weather and also useful in the summer because it had a sun roof. It was also paid for in full. (Oh, the days of not having a car payment.) The only complaint we... errrr I should say I.... ever had were the leather seats. They were freezing cold in the winter and scalding hot in the summer. Life with our jeep was great.
My family rarely takes vacations... however, this particular summer they decided to vacation in a little resort east of Ogden, UT. The resort was called Wolf Creek. Because Tyler had to work a few more hours to get in his internship quota we told my family we would meet them there a few days later.
Two days before we left for Utah I was leaving work. I hopped in the jeep and turned the key. It made a little noise but didn't turn over. I tried several times, but to no avail. The jeep would not start. I had to call Tyler... who in turn called a friend to help out. Later that day after taking certain parts in and out of the engine it was fixed. Or so we thought.
Finally the day to leave for Utah came. We were both excited because it had been a long summer full of lots of work for the both of us. We drove down to Utah easily and met up with my family. We ate tons of food, went swimming, went on walks, played games, watched movies, and did the usual vacation things.
We took these picture in the back of the rental car my parents were driving. We were just being silly. The vacation this far was nothing but good times and great laughs.
Saturday night rolled around and our vacation was coming to a close. My parents had decided to leave early Sunday morning to get their long 13 hour trip back to Washington over with sooner. We decided to stay a little later because checkout time for the resort wasn't until 11:00AM.
I had packed all our bags the night before and everything was pretty much ready to be thrown in the car the following morning. When Sunday morning arrived we packed our things into the jeep. We said a prayer and stuck the key in the ignition.
Tyler turned the key and we both stared at each other as we heard the sound of................ nothing...................... There was no grumble, no roar, no splat, no gurgle.................. just the solemn sound of silence. We tried over and over again. Tyler lifted the hood of the jeep trying to see what was wrong. We thought it might be the battery. Eventually a nice family drove by in their car and offered to help. (Keep in mind we hadn't even left the resort... which was 30 miles east of Ogden.) The couple was nice and tried their hardest... but no one knew the answer as to why our jeep was lifeless.
This is the part where our care free vacation started to take a turn for the worse.
After contimplating our situation we finally concluded it needed to be towed. Luckily, we had insurance for roadside assistance. However, getting a tow truck there on a Sunday was near impossible. There was ONE tow truck company that was actually open on Sunday.
We opted for them.
We waited an hour before they finally arrived... giving ourselves lots of time to think. Thinking... for me at least... is the last thing I needed to do when we were in a jam like we were then. The tow truck guys arrived, hooked up our motionless jeep and then we drove back to Ogden to the only shop that was open. When we finally arrived we explained that we were from out of town and needed to get back to Idaho as soon as possible.
The men in the auto shop were kind, but explained that there were numerous other customers that had scheduled appointments that day also. They encouraged us by saying, "We'll get so and so to run some tests to let you know what we can though."
At this point I was constantly reminding myself that I needed to take deep, long, breaths so as to not start hyperventilating, becoming hysterical, or breaking down in sobs. Tyler was great at reassuring me during this time.
We walked down the street from the Auto shop... only to see that most of the shops were closed. We finally decided that we were hungary and that we would go Panda Express, lucky for us, they were open. They were open alright. Open to ordering take out, the resturant itself was closed. So we sat outside of Panda Express eating our stir fry noodle concoxtions on the hard cement sidewalk. I think I had to choke a few lumps in my throat down with my noodles.
After a few hours we went back to the shop only to hear bad news. They had run some tests and determined the problem was in the computer part of our jeep. And to top it off, the only technician they had wouldn't be in until Monday morning. They told us we would get priority over other people, but what kind of reassurance was that?
We didn't have a car, money, or a place to stay.
By this time I was feeling quite distraught to say the least.
We walked down the street and I saw a church building. We were in our street clothes. In fact we hadn't packed church clothes because we hadn't intended on going to church. I thought we should go and see if there was a church meeting held... we needed all the inspiration we could get. Tyler felt funny about going into the chapel in our shorts and T-shirts so we sat outside the chapel in the foyer.
I think we sat on that couch for the entire duration of sacrament meeting and dozens of people passed by us. They glanced our way and continued to walk by. It reminded me of the story about the good samaritan. I wondered if anyone would notice the tears on my face, or our casual clothes, and stop to talk with us. No body stopped, no body talked, everyone was busy with their own worries. Our worries seemed overwhelming. I couldn't bare to lift my head and meet anyone else in the eyes. I quietly stared at the floor, focusing on nothing in particular while I let out silent sobs. I'm sure people saw, but I didn't care. I was scared and worried.
What was going to happen to us?
Then I saw a pair of mens shoes through my blurry tear filled eyes. He asked gently if we were new and introduced himself as one of the members of the bishopric. I tried desperately to collect myself while Tyler explained we weren't from around here. He asked what brought us to visit, at which point I choked back yet another lump in my throat. Tyler calmly explained our situation. The counselor showed concern for us and offered to help. He said we were welcome to go home with him, though he had some meetings with a few members first. He told us he would call his wife to be sure, but that it was probably alright if we stayed at his home for the night.
Never had we been the recipiants of such kindness and service. We ended up staying in their home that night. They fed us dinner, played games with us, talked with us, and opened up their hearts to us. Before long I started to feel a sense of peace and comfort as my faith in Heavenly Father increased. Tyler and I knew that the Lord cared about us and was taking care of our needs through the generosity of some of his members.
The next day we returned to the Auto Shop to find that our jeep was revived from the dead. We thanked the man profously and waved goodbye.
24 hours later we were on our way back to Idaho. I think I said many silent prayers of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for taking such good care of us. This was one of the first experiences I had with exercising faith. I have to admit I wasn't very good at it, but have since learned that there are going to be some instances where I will be forced to rely on the Lord.
I am so thankful for the Gospel it has truly blessed me with peace and comfort in times of trial and trouble.