Today in the mail I received this document from a researching friend, David Turley, in Utah. I was Thrilled! Last week he sent me the following message:
David: Hey! Are you related to an Arthur Rudolph Laemmlen?
Ann: He’s my dad!
David: Would you like this?
Ann: YES!! What are you doing?? Where did you find that??
David: I found it in a book that was going to the DI! I saw Laemmlen and didn’t think it was very common so I thought I would ask. What is your mission address?
Ann: 809 North 67th Ave, Yakima 98908
THANK YOU!! What book was it in? Was there a name in the book? That’s so fun.
David: It was folded up in a Religious Study journal. That is why it is in such rough shape. Sorry about that. That is how I found it though. No name in the book.
As I inspected this record today, I noticed something I hadn’t noticed last week when he sent a picture of it. The men below are LDS Bishops in the Hanford California Stake in the 1970s. The Bishop of the Hanford Ward was Fred Lewis, my husband’s first cousin. In 1989 Fred Lewis and my father, Art Laemmlen (no longer Bishops, but on the High Council together) had a church assignment together where they visited a prison 2 hours away every couple of months. They got to be good friends, visiting and getting better acquainted as they traveled. They discovered they both had old single family members who were not yet married. Fred thought of his cousin, John, age 36, and my dad thought of me, age 31. They decided we needed to meet.
My dad mentioned this to me on the phone the next time we talked, and Fred mentioned it to John, who wrote my name in his little black book. I filed the name “John Lewis” away, promising my dad that if he ever called, I’d agree to go out with him.
About a year later at a family reunion in Utah, Fred asked John if he’d called me yet. John told him no, he hadn’t–he didn’t have my number and wasn’t sure about the spelling of my last name. I was living in Salt Lake City, and John was in Orem. It just hadn’t happened. Fred made John promise to call me, and eventually he did (the day after I bought my first home).
We went on our first date 3 July 1990. I saw him again the next evening and met his family before leaving on a 3 week trip back east. A week after my return we were engaged, and we were married October 12th. That was 26 years ago. About 20 years before we met, these names appeared together on this document.
What an interesting piece of paper to land in my hands today, found in a book going to a thrift store in Utah! What a miracle that my friend noticed it and recognized my maiden name and thought to ask if I knew “Arthur Rudolph Laemmlen.”
I believe our lives are orchestrated and things are set in motion in just the right times and places so that God’s plan for us can unfold when the time is right. This crumpled paper is an evidence of that today for me.