That President Gordon B. Hinckley was reluctant to end his 16-day visit to members in Asian regions was evident in the fact that he arranged for "just one more meeting" on his way home.
When he learned that his plane, en route to the United States from the Philippines - the last stop in an eight-country tour - would refuel on Saipan, he asked Elder Ben B. Banks of the Seventy and president of the Philippines/Micronesia Area to telephone ahead and make arrangements for him to meet missionaries serving there.Elder Banks called Micronesia Guam Mission Pres. Ray Ward, and asked him to contact missionaries serving on Saipan, in the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific, and instruct them to go to the airport to meet President Hinckley's plane. Missionaries serving on Saipan are from the United States, the Marshall Islands, the Philippines and the island of Yap.
President Hinckley, accompanied by his wife, Marjorie, and Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve and his wife, Elisa, were greeted upon arriving in Saipan by 10 missionaries and approximately 60 of the island's 300 members. The missionaries and members sang to President Hinckley and placed leis on him and Sister Hinckley. President Hinckley expressed his love and thanked them for their faithfulness.
The members and missionaries on Saipan had only about five minutes to visit with the prophet, but, undoubtedly, that brief meeting will be a vivid memory for years to come.