January 4th -- The Day We Met!

Who would have ever thought that a brief conversation between two missionaries at a bus stop would lead to marriage? Well, amazingly it did! Around this time of year, I always think about the day Mike and I met and the day we had our first date and first kiss. Rather than keep the oh-so-romantic story to myself, I thought I'd share it with you, our fellow blog readers, to give you a chance to get to know us better. The following is "our story" (the condensed version anyway):

(This isn't the best picture, but it's the only
mission picture I could find that had both of us in it)

Seven years ago today, on January 4, 2001, Mike and I met each other for the very first time. We were both serving as missionaries in the Ohio Cleveland Mission and had each been out about one year. It was transfer day and I was sitting at the Cleveland bus stop with dozens of other missionaries waiting for my new companion to arrive. I was in the process of trying to solve a Rubik's Cube (yeah, kind of nerdy, I know) when an elder walked up to me and introduced himself as Elder Miller. He shook my hand and told me that he would be my new district leader and that he had heard a lot about me from one of my previous zone leaders. He seemed nice but was just another elder to me.

We were in the same district (in Elyria for those familiar with Ohio) for five months and became pretty good friends. As I got to know "Elder Miller," I became more and more impressed with him. He was an incredible missionary, worked exceptionally hard, and was extremely dedicated to the Savior. He was one of those missionaries that seemed to humbly inspire everyone he came in contact with (including me) to be better. After five months of serving around each other, we were each transferred again and never spoke to each other again as missionaries (I think we saw each other once at a zone conference and briefly said hello, but that was about it).

(This is a picture of me in my last area after accidentally hitting a bird with our awesome mission car)

I was transferred to my last area (Lorain) where I spent the remaining three months of my mission. I returned home on August 2, 2001 (Mike's birthday) and decided to write "Elder Miller," who still had five months left of his mission, a letter. That single letter quickly grew into about 14 letters between the two of us during the time Mike had left.

(The Kirtland Temple and historical sites were in our mission and have a very special place in our hearts)

It was through those 14 letters that we really grew to know each other, became best friends, and fell in love. I knew each time I opened and read one of his letters to me, that he was the man I was going to marry (Mike claims he knew long before those letters that I was the gal for him-- I guess it just took me a little longer catch on).

(My mom took this picture of our very first hug and at the time I was incredibly embarrassed, but now I am so grateful she took it. It's one of my favorite pictures because it brings back such amazing memories. I loved that moment!)

Mike returned home from his mission the evening of December 29, 2001. The next day (my birthday) was his homecoming and was the day we hugged each other for the very first time. Seeing Mike again and hugging him that day was the best birthday present ever!!!

(Another picture of that day. My parents also somehow knew, even before meeting him, that Mike was the man I was going to marry. They were so excited to finally meet him.)

Again on January 4, 2002, just six days after Mike returned from his mission and exactly one year from the first time we met, we went on our first date and had our very first kiss (u la la!). The date topped the charts of first dates for me. Mike took me out to eat at P.F. Changs, we saw the Book of Mormon movie at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, took a walk through Temple Square, and went for a carriage ride around Salt Lake. As we talked during the carriage ride, that was all it took--I knew right then and there that Mike was the man for me...

(Our wedding day--May 14, 2002)

...and the rest is history!

Now I would love to hear your "how you met" story. If you haven't already posted yours on your blog, do it so I can read it! :)

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