I had a very interesting experience yesterday. I travel 2-3 times a week for work and this week I had to go to Raleigh, NC on Tuesday and Wednesday. Since it was school vacation week in Massachusetts, I had to park in the economy parking as the main parking garages were full (I always park in the main garage). My flight home was delayed two hours and when I finally arrived in Boston, I had to wait 20 minutes for the economy lot shuttle bus. I got on the bus and there were four other people on the bus. The four other people were my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, and her daughter – the only family my wife and I have in the state. They were returning from a visit to a family member in Texas (I had no idea they were traveling). What is extraordinary about this experience is the number of random events that had to conincide for us to get on the same bus:

1. I had to return on Wednesday as did they
2. Their flight was delayed coming from Texas as was mine from NC
3. We landed at roughly the same time
4. I actually parked in Economy (my uncle said he parks there all the time since it is less expensive)
5. We both parked in the same Economy lot – there are 3 of them, each with a different shuttle bus
6. We got on the same shuttle bus
7. They actually traveled – they fly maybe once a year, if that

I don’t always put purposes to coincidences, although in this case the coincidence is extraordinary. I wonder why such an event occurred given the improbable nature of it. This is the second time such a random experience has occurred in my life.

The other time such an event occurred was when I was a missionary in NYC. I was serving as as Assistant and one day my companion and I were dispatched to JFK airport to pick up a missionary coming to our mission. His flight was delayed so my companion and I started talking to various people about the Church and giving away copies of the Book of Mormon. The man approached us and said he had just arrived from Jordan to come to the US and be baptized into the Church. This was a bit surprising to say the least. His story was that he had been raised Muslim in Jordan and attended a semester abroad in Spain during college. While there he came into contact with the Church and was converted. When he returned to Jordan, he mentioned the Church to a family member and he was instantly stigmatized. He realized that he would have to leave Jordan to find the Church. He then saved his money and flew to NYC to find the Church (perhaps a bit foolhardy) with a prayer to God that he would find the Church in the US. He arrived just before we did and he was not at all surprised that God had sent us there to pick him up. We took him to a member’s house who was from Armenia and spoke Arabic, although his English was very good. He was baptized a week or so later. In this experience, I have no doubt why the “coincident” occurred and that there was divine intervention to insure all the pieces of the puzzle came together.