I had met Elder Walker 18 years earlier when he was President Walker of the Tokyo South Mission. At the time, I was heading into my final year with the Philadelphia Eagles and we were scheduled to play a preseason game in August of 1993 in the Tokyo Dome against the New Orleans Saints. In May of that year, the Eagles asked me to fly to Tokyo on the NFL's dime with my wife for a week to promote the game in August. Randall Cunningham didn't care to travel and Reggie White was a free agent (who eventually signed with Green Bay), so though I was only the team's punt returner, the organization appreciated I was a good spokesman and representative of the franchise, so we were invited to travel to Japan. My wife was pregnant with our last child and would give birth in August, but her doctor cleared her to travel with me in May. We spoke at a fireside for President Walker's missionaries and their investigators while in Tokyo.
One day in early August, I received a call on my cell phone from Elder William R. Walker of the Seventy as I was headed to work.
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