About a million years ago, I was a missionary with this all-state wrestler from Cache Valley, UT. We recently caught up, and it turns out that the miracles that Craig LaMont saw on his mission were nothing compared to what he and his wife would witness later on.
There’s a motherload of stuff I just couldn’t get to in this story. As I mentioned in the clip, I met Craig LaMont in the Missionary Training Center in August of 1988. If I remember right, he didn’t have any Spanish in high school, whereas the rest of us in the district had a year or two (which we covered entirely in about two days.)
LaMont was one of those by-the-book, goal-oriented, extremely efficient people. As manifested above, I was, uh, none of that. His work ethic and spiritual vibe totally dwarfed mine, and he turned out to be one of the more successful missionaries in the mission because of those traits. Those habits–developed by his down-to-earth, rock-solid parents–started long before his mission papers went in, and paid dividends long after returning from Mexico.
Funny side note about our group there. Everyone there received their mission call to Barranquilla, Colombia. However, during the two months we spent in Provo, the Colombian government began denying visas to incoming missionaries. Our mission calls were changed. At the time of the picture above, we didn’t know exactly where we were going, but we DID know we weren’t going to Colombia.
LaMont was dating Diane at the time. And judging from all the care packages she sent him containing homemade goodies, we hoped that she’d at least wait until AFTER we left the MTC to “Dear John” him. They exchanged letters every week and they were married a few weeks after he got home.
LaMont and I were never full-time companions in Mexico City. At one point in the mission, however, we were in adjacent areas and were able to spend a day on a sort of “missionary exchange”. If memory serves correct, it was a Preparation Day and I needed a haircut. As the picture above shows, if LaMont hadn’t tried to give the barber (who was busy cutting my hair) all six discussions at once, I may have come out of the peluqueria with some hair left. The guy was dedicated beyond dedication, at all hours on all days.
Krianne, seen above, is the fourth child of Craig and Diane. The string of accidents we talked about in the video–wow, she was a magnet for a while not only for potential catastrophe, but also for gifts from heaven. One of the lines that got edited out of the final script sort of summed it like this: “Krianne has kicked the Grim Reaper’s keister so many times that the LaMont’s are now on death’s “Do-Not-Call” list…”
One of the bad things about the story was that their oldest daughter, Cindy, and her husband Marty, were out of town when we shot the interviews. They currently live in New York, and Cindy has her own “miracle” story that may lend itself to a story some time down the line.
The LaMont boys definitely followed in their old man’s footsteps. Taylor (above) recently won his fourth state title, going undefeated his senior year. He will join his older brother Grant (below) at Utah Valley University next year. These two guys are not only good, they’re great. Both have represented Team U.S.A. in world competitions. Grant recently got home from a mission in…(drum roll please)…Mexico City. Pretty amazing.
Overall, the LaMont family is one incredible group of people. We didn’t have time in the story to tell you they’ve housed an extra number of teens in their home for weeks, months, and even years at a time. We didn’t have time to tell you that I asked the three guys the question, “If you were all wrestling at the same weight, who would win?”, and that we got three different answers. (The girls were the tie-breaker with this question, and I won’t tell you that the youngest boy in the house was the winner.)
House of miracles? Yes. If there’s such thing as a “life version” of the Law of the Harvest, then “what goes around, comes around” makes all those miracles simple payback to the LaMonts for the good they’ve done around them.