Every Monday that President and Sister Bulloch are in town, we have a staff meeting attended by the Bullochs, the Karlinseys and the Elders serving as Assistants to the President. We have a thought and a prayer then talk about the upcoming week. This week is transfer week. Four new missionaries will be arriving Tuesday afternoon and the president and his wife will pick them up at the Syracuse airport and bring them back to Utica. On Wednesday, all the missionaries who are being transferred will travel to their new areas. We have a sister missionary from the Temple Square mission in Salt Lake who has been here for three months helping out the proselyting missionaries and will fly back to Salt Lake on Wednesday. Two missionaries who have completed their missions will be flying home on Thursday. During this meeting while we were discussing all these matters, somehow the subject of transfer transportation came up and President Bulloch shared a story with us from the mission he served in the Montana Billings Mission when he was a young man.
He was flying all alone (they did that in those days) from Missoula, Montana to Casper, Wyoming. The flight attendant on this flight was a beautiful young woman whom everyone was openly admiring. He was tempted to take off his missionary badge for just this flight and flirt with her like all the other men were doing, but his conscience got the upper hand and he left his badge in place. After she had finished her serving duties, she came and sat down by him! Everyone looked at him, thinking, "Wow, what did he do to get her attention?" He thought the same thing as well.
"You're a Mormon, aren't you," she said to him. He said he was and she said she was too. She told him she had sat down by him because she knew he wouldn't try to flirt with her; that she was very tired of the attention she got from the majority of men. Then they talked about her husband who was a fighter pilot in Viet Nam, how lonely and worried she was, and how glad she would be when he got home safely. Elder Bulloch was very grateful he had followed the promptings to be true to his commitment as a missionary.
A few months later, Elder Bulloch was transferred to South Dakota to the same town where this beautiful young woman and her husband lived. Elder Bulloch then had the opportunity to teach the gospel to the husband and be instrumental in his conversion and baptism. Every time he thinks about this incident, he thanks the Lord again for strengthening him in his commitments.
I love being on this mission. It seems like every week we hear or participate in a faith promoting incident and are strengthened, too, in our commitments to the Lord. We love you and hope you don't get tired of our preaching!