As we have written many times now, Dad was an amazing missionary. But I don't think we have mentioned yet what a miracle it was that he ended up on a mission in the first place. Dad had somewhat of a wild youth...to say the least. Let's just say dad did a lot of experimenting during his teenage years, culminating in a short stay in the Los Angelos jail system for "joy-riding" a car that he may or may not have owned. His parents let him serve the jail time hoping to scare him back onto the straight and narrow. It worked.
Dad came out of the experience determined to do something with his life. By the time he was 19 years old he was undecided on whether to join the military and pursue a career in the armed services like his father or to serve a full time mission.
One day as he was out surfing he felt something brush up against his leg. He had paddled out away from the shore quite a distance and at that moment he was absolutely certain that the "thing" in the water with him was a shark. He quickly pulled his arms and legs up onto the board and balanced as carefully as he could hoping to keep any delicious parts of him out of the shark's interest.
In that precarious moment as he sat hoping not to be eaten, he began to pray. He pleaded with the Lord to preserve his life and promised that if he was saved, he would serve a mission and be the best missionary he could be. Just as this sincere prayer came to a close, the "thing" in the water surfaced. Dad's fears instantly dissapated as he looked up to the sky and said, "Never mind, Lord, it was just a Dolphin".
It wasn't until the ride home that understanding dawned on him. He went home and filled out paperwork to serve a full time mission. He never overlooked the Lord's intervening hand in his life again.