Meeting the One

This is the story of us.
How we met and got engaged,
the Mr. and I.

I believe we knew each other before this life.
Our story just worked out too perfectly for it not to be that way. Even before we met, we each had impressions we couldn't deny, nor explain to others without feeling a teensy bit embarrassed (like having the feeling of missing someone of whom I didn't even know. {How is that even possible?!} I still can't completely wrap my mind around the entire concept. But the feeling was 100% completely and utterly real to me then, and I can still remember the feeling now).
When we started talking with each other (and even when we were writing letters back and forth on the mission), it was like meeting up again with a long lost friend. You know, the kind of friend you may not have any contact with for years and yet when you meet up again, its like you never left. There were no uncomfortably long silences, nor feelings of awkwardness. Without missing a beat, we picked up where we left off.

Except we had no earthly experiences we could have left off from.

Part 1
How We Met

One of the most frequently asked questions P and I encounter is "How did you two meet?" which is first answered with a bit of a laugh, followed by a "Well, let's see how simply I can answer that."
P and I were originally, well, I guess you could say "introduced" sometime in the month of November 2006 (you will see why I use quotes around "introduced"). We were both in the thick of our missions for the LDS church; he was in the Nebraska Omaha Mission, I was in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission. I was serving with my companion, Sister Ali Hickman and he was serving with Elder Matt Lee. Ali and Matt had started a relationship before their missions and were now writing to each other cross-country.P and I at Matt and Ali's reception

Un-beknownst to me, Ali sent a picture of she and I to her - is it really appropriate to call him a "boyfriend"? Well, regardless, she sent him a picture of us. And I didn't even look cute. I mean, hello! I was a missionary! Anyway, Elder Lee shared the picture of us to his companion, Elder Peter Neilson. Somehow, he was able to see past the looks and became curious about this sister missionary.
Lo and behold, the next tape Sister Hickman received from Elder Lee had Elder Neilson talking on it for quite some time...and he asked Sister Hickman to relay the message to her good looking companion (referring to me!) that, "If she's single, have her write me!"
What a shock that was. Sister Hickman and I had a really good laugh at that, and played that part of the tape over a few times. With a bit of nudging from her, I finally sat down Christmas Day to write this mysterious Elder a post card sized letter, which I didn't end up sending until about 2 weeks later. (I was a little nervous about writing the letter, since the only pic Sister Hickman had of the guy was one of him and his companion in lava lavas...looking quite conceited, to be honest)
In response to my poorly written postcard sized letter I received a 6 page very well-written letter. Yeah. I dropped my jaw at it too.
So, we corresponded. He finished his mission 29 June 2007 and we continued to write until I got home 7 November 2007. We texted all day and talked on the phone every night for hours on end. He flew me down for a week to meet his family in St. George at the beginning of December. So, the first time we actually met "in person" was 6 December 2007 in the Las Vegas Airport. That night, we went to an Anberlin concert at the House of Blues-it was A-mazing. We were standing right in front, against the fence line, and I was surprised at the happy fluttering feeling I got when he put his arms around me and held on to the railing in a protective stance to prevent me from getting crushed to death by the crowd (I was a recently returned missionary after all...everything is a little weird right after you get back from being spiritually minded 24/7). What a gentleman!
2 days after I got home I did something that surprised even myself. I missed him too much after just a week of being with him, so I made the decision to move down there. I was asking everyone I knew if I was crazy (I was sure I had to be...), but I got support from everyone I talked to about it. So, with an excited/nervous butterfly feeling in my stomach, I packed my belongings and headed for good ol' Utah less than two months after returning home from my mission.
Never would have seen that coming. Moving to the place I swore I would never live. Never say never...I have had too many experiences where I said never...and that "never" situation happened (i.e. never going on a mission, never living in UT, never marrying a UT boy, never going to nursing get the picture).
On the way down to St. G, I stopped in SLC for a few days. The Mr. and I were able to attend Matt and Ali's (Elder Lee and Sister Hickman) wedding together . That was incredible. We finished driving the few hours left to get to St. George, stayed a few days, and then we both flew up to Washington so he could meet my family. We hung out there for a few days, then flew back to St. George again, where I picked up 2 jobs and we started developing our relationship...

and the romance just continues to bud and blossom.

As far as the "engagement story" goes, there are 2 parts (from my point of view) to the story. (It's pretty long...hope you enjoy it!)

Part 2
The Secret
We had been planning on going to Havasupi in May 2008 with a few of our friends (Cierra and Matt the married couple, Stu, Nephi along with P and I) for quite a few months. We were doing all the packing of our packs (its an 11 mile hike down a side canyon of the Grand Canyon in AZ and we decided to pack our stuff in...crazy decision) and P went upstairs to get his clothes together. I was packing all the snacks and other items into the side pockets of both mine and his packs. I filled my pockets up then moved to his pack. I filled up one side then moved to the other...and found a small black box in the top side pocket (P still asks me to marry him to this day. I love it!) I knew he had gotten the ring, however, I just didn't know if he was ever gonna let me wear it! So this was a big suprise.
Feeling super embarrassed and quite flustered, I quickly stuffed the ring box back into the pocket, and returned to stuffing my pack instead (I don't think I even filled the last 2 pockets of his pack...oops!). I didn't say anything to P about finding the box (I really felt dumb even though I wasn't snooping around) and tried to act normal...that was rough!

Part 3
The Proposal
Havasu Falls
Well the week went by really fast (all except for the first day when we hiked in...that was murder on my feet). Our campsite was gorgeous-our site was 15 feet away from where Mooney falls has its 200 foot drop. I kept expecting the proposal (even in our camp the place was gorgeous) but it didn't happen and it didn't happen...I was seriously starting to wonder if my difficulties hiking down the first day had given him second thoughts about marrying me! Our last full day there was a different story. :)
We had enjoyed another full day of swimming in the cold water, hiking in the river and enjoying the beauty of nature. Since it was our last day, P suggested to me that before the light was completely gone, he wanted to go and take a few pictures of Havasu Falls from "this really cool place" he had found earlier in the day.
We started getting ready to walk the mile up there (the whole time I'm
P and I in front of Mooney Falls

thinking "This is it...this is really it...holy cow! This is crazy!"), when suddenly P said "Let's ask everyone else to come!"(Now I was thinking..."Okay...either this isn't it...or if everyone does come, and this is it, it may be a little awkward to have an audience for the proposal. I am pretty sure he wouldn't do that to me!") So we went and found the rest of the group and asked if they wanted to join us. They all said "Sure" and we headed back to camp so they could change and come with us.
As we waited, Cierra said "You know what, I'm tired and don't feel like hiking anymore. You guys go without me." So, of course her husband was out too. Then Stu and Nephi just decided that they didn't want to go P and I set out alone (my mind was racing again at this point) for the falls.
As we finally got close to the spot P wanted to go to, I asked him if he had brought any water in his pack. He said he did and he would get it out when we got to the place. As we climbed up on a few rocks, P told me to sit down and he took his pack off and knelt on the ground to dig in the bag. I was waiting for the water bottle when suddenly he said "Kira?" (I think he must have been really distracted or psyching himself up for the occasion...cuz he didn't really have water in his hand ! And I was really THIRSTY!) And there it was. The little black box. In his hand. And he was looking at me. And he asked me something. (I don't remember what was said. How sad is that?!) I know it was something along the "Marry Me?" kind of line....but what exactly? I dont know. I do know that all of a sudden we were just hugging and he asked me again in a choked voice about marrying him and all I said was "Okay" with a smile. We had a little laugh about him being the one that was choked up instead of me, he put the ring on, and we headed back to camp to show it off. (Apparently everyone in camp was in on the secret...the one secret I wasn't in on-thank goodness!!) Oh yes, and sometime as we walked back I told him the story of I had found the box prior to us leaving st. george...he was totally shocked. I guess I can kind of act... :)

...and we are still working on our happily forever after...