Up until several years ago, I had no idea what or who “Mormons” were. For the most part, I always though that they were part of the Amish community that lived a polygamous life. From an outsiders perspective, I didn’t know what they believed it or why they can be so secretive and strange.
My first encounter with the Mormon community was several years ago while on a family vacation back from Colorado. I wanted to see and go inside a “Temple”. We decided to stop in Cedar City to check it out not knowing that a Church building and Temple were two separate entities. Apparently, I ended up going to a Seminary building and sat inside one of their classes for about an hour. It was an interesting experience and I was surprised to see that Mormons looked and acted like “normal” people.
When I met my very first pair of Sister Missionaries, I was so curious on what they believed in. I was referred to local missionaries to get my questions answered. I met up with two “Sisters” named Sister Luter & Sister Lindsey. For the record, I seriously thought I was meeting up with Nuns. They both were actually really cool and very friendly. Eventually, they ended up teaching me about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I learned about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, I gained a testimony of it.
For the next couple of months, I made countless friends at my local YSA Ward. I was curious and interested in finding out more about this whole different culture such as Family Home Evening (FHE), Institute, Young Single Adult (YSA) dances, etc. I also found out that Mormons believed in the same God, the same Jesus Christ and the same Holy Spirit as the rest of mainstream Christianity.
As time went by, I learned so much about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and what they believed in. I came to believe the same things after finding out for myself that it was true. I was later baptized and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As my faith continued to grow, my social life struggled. Even though my first YSA experience was great, not everyone was friendly and I ended up having each successive Sister Missionary as my YSA friend most of the time. Eventually, one of my Sister Missionaries convinced me to move to Utah.
In November of 2016, I packed my bags and drove to Utah.
And so began a life of uncertainty and hope. I was excited to see how Utah life would be like but also felt sad not having my family close by. Besides my former Sister Missionary friends living in Provo, I didn’t know anyone. I had to build up my social circle which led me to join my first YSA Ward in Provo.
Since I lived near BYU, I decided to make the “Y” also a part of my social life. I became involved in the BYU Photo Club, BYU Democrats, BYU Baking Club, BYU Linux Club and attended many of their College events.
To conclude this blog post, here’s what I’ve noticed and experienced these past several years living in Utah County:
- It’s very non-diverse. I’m a tiny 0.1% minority.
- It’s so cold and it snows a lot. During the Summer, it’s scorching hot.
- Rush-hour traffic is virtually non-existent.
- There are so many cute girls around all the nearby cities and YSAs.
Despite #4, little did I know that I won’t be meeting the true love of my life until late 2018. All that stood between me and finding her would be two years and a swipe up on the Mutual dating app.