We weren't sure before Karissa left if she'd be able to call on Christmas, so we said our good-byes knowing there was a chance we wouldn't talk until May for Mother's day. Karissa knew we'd be spending Christmas in the Southern Utah mountains by Brian Head Ski Resort, and that the phone reception wasn't very good. To receive a call as important as this one, we wanted to drive up onto the ridge of the mountain where the reception was best.
The trouble was, we were snowed in.
It'd been snowing for three days straight and there was a thick, impassable layer on the street, on our driveway and on our car.
We were thrilled she would be calling, but we knew it would require a miracle to work.
We prayed that night the Lord's will would be done, and that we would be able to accept it. She would be calling at 8:30 AM our time. We went to bed, hoping for the best.
At 7:45 Christmas morning we woke to the sound of the snow plow. Who plows the road on Christmas morning? Especially that early? It was truly a miracle.
Kirk and I ran out to the driveway and began working to clear off the car and shovel out the driveway.
We finished at 8:20 and we all got in the car. I grabbed Kirk's cell phone and we were off.
I glanced at the phone and saw we had quite a few missed calls and messages from a phone number in Utah I didn't recognize. Before I had a chance to puzzle over this, the phone rang from that same number.
Cautiously, I answered.
"WHY HAVEN'T YOU BEEN PICKING UP THE PHONE?" Karissa screamed on the other end.
"We've been shoveling out the snow...we have ten minutes before you're supposed to call..." I said lamely.
"The Elders messed up the time" Karissa said, a little more composed now, "I only have ten minutes left on the phone call."
Our hearts sank as this news sunk in, but it was so exciting to hear her voice! Just hearing her voice made me think ten minutes would be fine.
On the way up to the ridge Karissa kept saying, "I can't hear you!" We told her we could hear her just fine and to keep talking. To this she cried, "I've been talking to the answering machine for the last hour! I want to hear you!"
It was funny to me because I've said that many times to God, "I'm tired of talking...you say something!" But being on this side--the side of the of the parent with crystal clear reception--I found it just made me love Karissa more.
We got to the ridge and she got to hear our voices for a very short conversation that was over too quickly.
We drove back silently then listened to Karissa's messages.
The first few were cheery and newsy. "Hey.....the Elders messed up the time....hope you'll pick up the phone...!"
The last few were a little more...emotional, "Well, (sniff) I just wanted to hear your voices. (Sniff) I hope all is well...I just was really hoping to hear your voices."
That broke our hearts. I won't lie, I was seriously tempted to call the missionary training center and start a fight. But I didn't.
For starters, we didn't have good reception.
So I tried instead to be grateful in the timing of the snow plow (which still seems like a miracle!) and be glad that Karissa was able to hear our voices...even for only a short time.