My husband and I met at a young adult conference sponsored by our church, at Killeen, Texas. The conference was supposed to be from Friday evening to Monday afternoon, but the group I arrived with was very late and we missed the Friday evening social. On Saturday morning, May 26, 1973, The group of about 80 had breakfast and classes at the lake on Fort Hood. After lunch, everyone headed to the lake for water activities. That was when my friend, Sharon, and I noticed that the car containing our swim gear had headed back into town. Another friend, Carla, went and asked the guy she had come with to go and get our things, and he agreed. I was sitting around chatting with some other people when this guy I had never seen before walked up to me and said something like, "Don’t worry, I’m going to go get your things." Then he walked away. I felt like I was supposed to know him, but when I asked, no one else knew his name either. When he returned, I found out his name was George and he had just moved to Texas a week before.
Since Carla, George, Sharon, and I were the last ones to get down to the lake, we just naturally hung out together. George had noticed the mask, fin, and snorkel in my gear and was curious to see who else enjoyed his hobby. So we shared them. When we headed to the beach towels for a rest, he asked me to rub suntan lotion on his back. I was delighted to, but afterward felt a pang of jealousy when he then turned and offered to rub lotion on Carla’s back. Afterwards he rubbed more lotion on my back.
By late afternoon we all headed back into town to the various homes we had stayed in Friday night, in order to get dressed up for Saturday night’s dinner and dance. Sharon and I were staying at the apartment of a Sister Brown, who was also a chaperon for the event. Carla was staying at another apartment in the same building, so George dropped us all off and promised to be back to pick us up. When he returned, I wasn’t quite ready, so Sister Brown told him to go ahead and take Carla and she would follow with Sharon and I. That made me very disappointed. When we finally arrived at the hall where the dinner was to be, I glanced around the large room and almost immediately spotted George at the far end of the room. He saw me too, and started nonchalantly making his way around the room. I knew from that moment on that we were together, but no one else noticed. He sat between Carla and I at dinner, after which we went to the dance. George and I shared every dance together except one. The entertainment during the dinner was a big Samoan guy named Gary, who performed the Samoan fire dance. Shortly afterward, he came over to us, clamped a hand around my arm and claimed a dance. So George went and danced that one with Carla. Once when we were sitting out a dance to catch our breaths, I found myself repeating over and over again in my mind, "I do not believe in love at first sight, I do not believe in love at first sight,..."
After the dance, everyone was supposed to change into casual clothes again and meet back out at the lake, where we would sleep Saturday and Sunday nights. George dropped the three of us girls off at the apartment building, and went to get his own stuff. When he returned, he came straight to the apartment where Sharon and I were. We were still in the bedroom, but were almost ready. Sister Brown invited George into her living room, and then asked, "George, have you kissed Elayne yet?" We were both embarrassed, and I sat down on the bed refusing to go out and face him. So Sister Brown continued, "If I were twenty years younger and forty pounds lighter, I’d give her a run for her money." That was worse, so I decided I’d better get out of there before she said anything else. I mustered up my courage and walked out pretending I hadn’t heard, and so the four of us drove back out to the lake.
Cots had been set up for the girls to sleep inside the building, which included a large room with a kitchen. The guys would be sleeping in a big army tent a little distance away. It was about midnight when we arrived, but no one was settling down yet. So George asked me to go for a walk. We started walking slowly down the road toward the lake, which was about a quarter of a mile away. I was expecting him to ask for my address and phone number. Instead, he started talking about his goals and the important things he wanted to do with his life. My heart just went out to him, so I said, "I want to help you." He was startled and replied, "The only girl who can help me will be my wife." It was my turn to be startled, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say, so I repeated, "I want to help you." In the next split second we both had a vision, the same vision, in which we were asking Heavenly Father in the pre-mortal life to allow us to be together here. We had made covenants at that time in which he was told he would be born to a family who were members of the church and was to serve a mission. I was to be born to a family who were not members and I was to join the church before we could meet. We were stunned by this vision, and both of us started to laugh and cry. Then he said, "For the record, will you marry me?" I said "Yes" very quickly. It had been about 12 hours since that stranger told me he'd get my things.
I have no doubt we were falling in love anyway, but what a wonderful blessing and gift that vision has been throughout our 31 years of marriage. When things get tough and rocky, as they do occasionally for every couple, we know we married the right person at the right time, and we know we’d better work a little harder to make each other happy.
And for those who like happy endings, Carla got engaged a week later to a guy she met at the same conference.