You and I moved into this ward with our tiny-but-growing families a few weeks apart during the summer of 2006. Perhaps because of the similarity of our situations in life, as well as some mutual friends who greased the wheels ahead of time, I felt a warmth and closeness with you more or less the instant I met you. I sensed in you a greatness of spirit and capacity for leadership that I have rarely experienced–maybe only a time or two before, and I knew that, despite your relative young age, you would be standing before our ward as Bishop sooner rather than later, if only we both remained in the ward long enough to see a change.
The experiences we’ve shared over the past three years–birthday parties for our kids, watching conference together, swapping babysitting duties, saving you from an apparent drowning, enduring long ward council meetings, and just chatting in the street while our boys make each other cry, have all served to confirm the initial impression I had of you.
When the word was given a week prior to your sustaining that there would be a new Bishop, I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that you were the best man for the job–and I even tried to (tactfully) tease you and express my sincere excitement and joy for your upcoming assignment during the week–I knew you were the new Bishop.