Thursday, May 07, 2009

Meeting President Monson

This weekend I had a neat experience. I met President and Sister Monson! I volunteered at the Symphony again, and they were in attendance (for the Bravo Broadway show). Our volunteer coordinator told us that he was there, and that he may come for our intermission reception (which was what I was volunteering at). We expected a lot of people. I made sure to be at the soda table (which I usually am anyway) instead of the wine one. (Because like, who wants to have the one time they see the Prophet to be when they’re serving alcohol?)

Anyway, not very many people came to the reception at all. But President Monson did!

As soon as he came in the door, he came over to the soda table and shook our hands. The other person at the table was an older lady, and she said something cordial (“It’s nice to meet you, President Monson?” “Thank you for coming, President Monson?” Or something like that.) and so did I. I asked if he was enjoying the show and he said “I’ve not heard finer.” I offered him something to drink but he said he didn’t want anything because “a wise man doesn’t drink anything during intermission.” He said he didn’t want to miss any of the songs later.

His wife was in a wheelchair and she came over to get a drink. She seemed like she wasn’t really sure what she wanted, but decided on Coke. A few other people came over to the soda table to chat with President Monson. He told the little group of us that he had especially enjoyed the trolley song. He explained:

“I met my wife on a trolley.

We were seventeen.

Best trolley ride I’ve ever taken.”

It was really cute. He was very sweet with his wife. He wheeled her over to get some hor d’ourves. Another lady seemed really excited to chat with him and kept talking to him about different things. She got her picture with him.

The person from the Board started making his little announcements, thanking the Prophet for bringing his wife on a date (cute!) and mentioning President Monson sitting in the front row tapping his foot.

And I started thinking that maybe I would like a picture with him, too. Because stories about meeting the Prophet are cooler if you have a picture to show. I was wearing a skirt, though, so I had no pockets and my phone was in my bag, which was in the back of the kitchen, in another room. I decided to go for it.

After the little speech, I asked President Monson if I could have a picture with him. He said, “That’s alright.” And it sounded like it meant no, but he’s from a generation where people say what they mean, so he actually meant that it was all right for me to get a picture with him. “Don’t ask security, though, because they’ll tell you no,” he added.

I got the lady who had been so eager to talk with him to take my picture. I started to explain how the camera on my phone works (it’s an iPhone and a lot of people press the button to take you back to the main screen instead of pressing the camera button that shows up on the screen). “I have one. I know how to do it,” she told me, and she took the picture. She said it came out really good.

It didn’t. She took it all blurry. Oh well. At least you can tell that it is me, and that I’m with them, and that President Monson knows he’s in the picture too

My mom and my boss (separately!) mentioned printing the picture and framing it. I hadn’t even thought about it. Because it’s like…blurry. So I don’t know about that. But for sure I’ll be able to tell my kids someday about meeting him. Just like my dad told us the story of meeting Ezra Taft Benson in the rain.

I liked him. I felt like he was a really good man, just from the way that he talked to us and to other people (he randomly went up to one man and showed him his Navy cuff links? Or something. And I don’t know what made him think the guy would be interested, but he was…), and from the way that he was towards his wife. He patted her and touched her, and wheeled her around, and was just really nice. Very pleasant. And I did feel like he actually, really is a prophet. I felt like he could see our hearts, or knew us, or something. I don’t know. Maybe that’s what it feels like to be with people who have spent years representing Christ and showing love to strangers. It was a neat experience, though. And it was cool that he came up to us right away, even though he had no plans to get anything to drink.

I was happy that I wasn’t serving wine. He didn’t go over to them.


Heather said...

Amazing! Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a nice uplift for the day.

I especially like that Sister Monson got a Coke. I personally don't drink caffeine for several reasons, but is this insight on whether or not it's an unspoken rule? Interesting.

Emily said...

Heather - Yeah, I know. I was way curious what Pres. Monson would have. I think maybe it means that coke (etc) is ok when it's half a glass during intermission. (Just like one slice of chocolate cake is okay, but if you are having 7 or 8 slices of chocolate cake every day, that's probably a Word of Wisdom problem too...)

Chillygator said...

You forgot to mention you also met your favorite blog reader (o:

Emily said...

Chillygator - I didn't want to make everyone else jealous. ;o)

Debra Leonard said...

Hi thanks for sharing your story. SO I'm curious why they were even Serving wine? I take it this wasn't a LDS event??

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