It's funny how things work out.
Last week was rough. I was distracted from school for the first time since I started, worried about changes back in Utah and how they will affect "home" as I know it. I felt truly homesick for the first time and had a hard time mustering the desire to spend time with friends. I went to both sessions of Stake Conference (something I never do), alone. I was so focused on my loneliness that I got much less out of the talks than I probably could and should have.
Then there was the BYU-Utah game and well, I don't think I need to add any commentary there.
Sometime while I was distracted by the melee in my mind, I picked up a new Twitter follower, @JDanielRollins
I'm not sure how he found me or what I said that might have encouraged him to follow me. I was hesitant to follow back, only because I've been thinking of purging my following list lately to have a more manageable feed. I decided to read through some of his old tweets to decide and came across this convo:
Hmm... He hates Penn State. But he's willing to admit to appreciating their classic uniforms. Conflicted, I told him so. (Conversation in reverse order here)
He made me laugh at least, so I followed back. I'm glad I did.
At this point this post is going to become a bit of a confessional. If that irritates you, I won't mind if you stop reading. If you keep reading, don't feel like you need to comment on anything I say.
Prior to moving to Omaha I had become apathetic about my activity in the Church, comfortable in my complacency. Then I moved, and with my professor as my bishop, I felt obligated to be more engaged. Simultaneously, I realized everyone I met knew nothing about the Church and found myself answering basic questions. One night I was out with friends until 3 in the morning talking about, among other things, religion. Between the three of us, we represent the Mormon, Catholic, and Baptist faiths and shared and inquired openly about what we each believe. Suddenly I wasn't answering the simple questions like, "Do you drink?" I was explaining the three degrees of glory and the concept of eternal marriage. I don't know when it happened, but eventually that conversation was no longer about answering the questions of my friends but rather about looking inside myself, asking for the first time if I really believed what I was saying. And the answer was a resounding, "YES."
Since that conversation I have been very aware of religion in general. My good group of friends here are all wonderful people and strong Christians. In some ways it seems like the theme of Christianity has been more in the forefront of my mind than Mormonism specifically.
Here's where my trains of thought merge...
I saw that Mr. J. Daniel Rollins tweeted about an update to his blog. I read what he had to say and was moved. The stories of converts always hit close to home, because of my parents' story. But while reading his blog and learning of his experiences in different Christian faiths, I realized again something I've always known: I'm so happy to be Mormon.
This post has gone on much longer than I intended, so I'm going to wrap things up. But before I do, I want to mention specifically the challenge on WearySaint.com to count your blessings. I know the week is almost over and I have yet to take part in the challenge, but I intend to change that.
So I want you to know that I'm grateful, among so many other things, that "I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow Him in faith."