Most of you have probably heard (it's the top news story on every big news site) that President Hinckley passed away earlier tonight. I'm sure that for the majority of the Church members of my generation, he was our favorite prophet. He was never afraid to meet or be interviewed by anyone and really moved the Church into the public eye. Both Alison and I agree that it feels like you are losing a friend - although both of us have only been in his presence a couple of times.
President Hinckley visited Moscow, Russia just a couple of weeks before I came home. I entered the MTC on 13 of September but my choices for returning home were early August (which would have allowed me to attend my sister's wedding and start school a semester earlier) or early October. I chose the latter and long after my decision was made I found out that President Hinckley would be visiting the members in Moscow. I was in a city that was a 12 hour train ride from Moscow, but we were able to take a day trip to Moscow with some members to attend his visit. It was one of the most special experiences of my mission.
While the Church is in the public eye so much with Mitt Romney's campaign, it will be a special event as the leadership of the Church shows how smoothly the transfer of power goes. No colored smoke or uncertainty as to when and who a new prophet will be. God be with you Hinckley Family.