When I think of Church service, I think of my grandpa, Bob Anderson.
Everyone who knows him would say the same thing, and he is truly an example to all. His whole career, for 45 years, he worked in the trucking industry and was a truck driver for ABF Freight. He was one of the hardest workers and drove over 4 million miles without an accident.
When he was 62 years old, he was called as bishop of the Miller Ward in the Mesa North Stake in Mesa, Arizona. Three years later, he retired from his hardworking career. Most people when they retire just can’t wait to rest. They can’t wait to go fishing, golfing, travel and see the world or just relax — but not Bob.
Bob retired on October 31, 2001 and the very next day, November 1, he was starting a Church service mission at the local bishop’s storehouse. He was still the bishop at the time, so he assigned himself to 30-40 hours each week. In two months, my grandpa is going to complete 16 consecutive years of service without any breaks.
Ever since the day he retired, you have been able to find my grandpa down at the storehouse, five days a week. His duties have consisted of loading and unloading all the trucks that come from Salt Lake City. He recalls three specific dispatchers from Salt Lake that have worked with him all this time: Tracy, Kevin and Jalayne.
Once the trucks arrive, they unload them and fill them up with the products made in the cannery (ketchup, salsa and spaghetti sauce) and they send them back to Salt Lake City. My grandpa knows each and every driver to ever come down to Arizona by name, and has all of their phone numbers. Since my grandpa was a truck driver himself, he knows how hard their job is and always wants to take care of them.
Even though my grandpa is getting older, he wakes up every single time a truck gets to Mesa to help them unload. Sometimes these trucks get in at midnight, 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m., but my grandpa is always there every time. Then throughout the month, my grandpa is the one that drives a truck up to small towns across Arizona (Flagstaff, Payson and Spring Valley to name a few).
Once he gets to those towns, he drives to the stake centers and unloads the cannery items for each stake. Since I have been home from my mission, I myself have gone on a few of these trips with my grandpa and they have been some very special moments.
This year my grandpa will complete 25,000 hours of Church service working at the bishop’s storehouse. He loves the Lord and is determined to do all that he can to serve.
— Matt Anderson, Vineyard Ward, Mesa Arizona Maricopa Stake