Wednesday August 14th was a tough, tough day for the Robinson family, even though we were all so excited and proud of Cade. We headed out for Provo in our friend's van (much better gas mileage than the Suburban!) at about 7:30. Let me tell you, that was the quietest our family has ever been! Lots of tears were being leaked. Someone finally cracked a joke along about Ogden and then life felt a lot more normal and the talking was on! Cade's friend Ryan McMullin was scheduled to enter the MTC 15 minutes before Cade, so we met up with their family at Chuck-A-Rama in Orem.
The McMullins left to go spend some family time with Ryan, and we headed down to Payson to pick up some motorcycle parts for Sam. He had about an hour and a half left before drop off time. We picked up the parts and headed back up to Provo. About a mile away from the MTC, we were stopped at a stop light when Sam asked Darren, "Dad, why is the back windshield wiper on?" Darren said, "I'm not sure why" when all of a sudden the front wipers slowly come on and start spraying the windshield! Darren is looking at the control panel and all of the gauges are flipping back and forth. He said, "I think we are in trouble!" and then the car just dies! Here we are in the middle of the intersection with a dead car and missionary that needs to report in 10 minutes. What to do? We got out and pushed the car over to the side of the road and then said a prayer. Another car stopped with three gentlemen in it and asked if they could do anything. Darren asked if they had jumper cables, which they didn't, and was telling them about needing to get Cade to the MTC. He turns to Darren and says, "It's OK if he's late, they'll take him anyway. They want him there!"
All of a sudden it dawns on us that the McMullins had just dropped Ryan off at the MTC! We called them, explained the situation and they hurried over to save us. We quickly transferred Cade's luggage into their Suburban and sped off to the MTC. Of course there is construction, so we do a few small illegal moves and speed down some side streets to arrive at the MTC. Cade still made it within his 15 minute time frame!
And he's off for a two year adventure!
We made our way back down to the van (passing another car with smoke billowing out from the hood!) to figure out what we are going to do and how we are going to get home. We get back down the van and send the McMullins back to Twin with so many thanks. We are looking up cab company and tow truck numbers when a young man stops with some tools. Darren disconnects the battery cable thinking maybe to reset the computer, but unfortunately, it doesn't help the situation. A tow truck stops and and moves us into the parking lot of the apartments that we are stranded by. We are still standing there trying to decide what to do and where the nearest parts stores are when our angel comes along in a beat up car. An older Mexican gentleman with limited English offers to help. He has some jumper cables and miraculously the car starts right up! Until the jumper cables are removed. That happens a couple of more times until the consensus is that the alternator is done for. Francisco spent the afternoon helping Darren change out the alternator, making another trip to the parts store after they gave us the wrong alternator, and getting the van up and running. During the course of the afternoon, we found out the Francisco's wife was in the hospital with cancer. And yet he chose to spend the afternoon helping out a family in need!
Our family learned a couple of lessons that day.
1. It wasn't just an odd coincidence that Ryan was going to the MTC on the same day and 15 minutes before Cade.
2. That the Lord looks out for you and blesses you at all times! He sends people to help when you are in need. Francisco wasn't of our faith, but what a stellar example of a Christ-like attitude. He could have just driven by the parking lot with the van that had the hood up, but he didn't and spent his afternoon serving complete strangers.
P.S. Cade probably thinks we are still stuck in Provo!!