July 31, 2010 (Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia – 2010 National Scout Jamboree)
Today I was asked by the Philanthropic Committee of the National Board to help with some VIPs and ended up staying with the top Scout executives and philanthropists right up until the Arena Show on Saturday night. Whereas 45,000 Scouts and leaders were fed a Lunchable for dinner, I ate roast turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, crab cakes, Caesar salad, red velvet cake and pecan pie.
Following dinner I wandered outside to wait for a bus. I really didn’t know anyone outside so I went back in and sat down with the YM General Presidency and their wives. There was a young man sitting next to President Beck. I introduced myself to him and he said his name is Ryan Beck. I asked his age. He’s 22. I asked where he served his mission. His said Taiwan. I said, “Hey, my son is in the MTC right now. He’s going to Singapore.” He asked, “Speaking Mandarin?” I said, “Yes.”
It turns out that Ryan teaches Chinese at the MTC. Although Johnson isn’t in his zone, he instantly recognized his photo (which I pulled up on the WordPress blog) and he chuckled. He praised Johnson. He said, “He’s always smiling, has a dynamic personality, and really seems to love what he’s doing.”
Dee was having a particularly tough day. She was so happy to hear the news about Johnson that she broke down in tears at the register at American Eagle (where she was shopping for school clothes for Emilee and Mary). That was a tender mercy!
I gave him a patch to take back to Johnson and asked him to give him a hug and tell him how much I love him.