Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reader Question (part 1): How did you meet your wife?

This is part 1 of an anonymous question that was asked in my sidebar
How did you meet your wife? If you're gay, why did you marry her?

How did I meet my wife?

It's kinda a funny story ...

We met in college - at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California.  I was not yet a member of the church, she had just joined that summer.

While waiting in line to register for classes (this was in the days before computers), someone went down the line and handed everyone a "religious preference card".  I had heard of Mormons and was curious - so I checked "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints", filled out my name and local contact information, and handed it back to them.   I later learned that the people handing out the forms were LDS - this was the LDS institutes way of finding LDS students as quickly as possible.  It was intended as a service project, not a missionary tool; so, the cards of those that checked other religions were given to those other churches to do with as they pleased.

I didn't think much of it until a few days later I got a call on the phone in my dorm room inviting me to a meeting.  The stake center was about a mile from my dorm, so I got directions and walked there on the evening of the meeting.  The purpose of the meeting was to organize the college students into family home evening groups.  Although, I really had no idea what they were talking about since it was all foreign to me.  I do recall the bishop, in his opening remarks, saying something to the effect of "I want to be a god - don't you want to be a god?" and thinking to myself "wow, these Mormon's have high expectations!"  It was just assumed that everyone in the meeting was LDS.

Anyway, I was placed into a FHE group consisting of all of the students that lived in the dorms at school - about a dozen students.  There were only a handful in attendance at this meeting; so, we divided up the names; and, I was given 2 or 3 names of people to go visit and invite them to our first FHE meeting.  I dutifully went to visit the people I was assigned - really having no idea what I was inviting them to.

I started attending FHE meetings every week.  We were all away from home and quickly became friends.  No one suspected that I wasn't a member and I really wasn't sure how to bring it up.

My [future] wife also lived in the dorms and was part of that same FHE group.  At the urging of the other members of the FHE group, I also enrolled in a Book of Mormon class at the institute building.  I had to walk past her dorm on the way to institute class; so, we would often walk together, with another girl in the group, and then go have breakfast together afterward.

On one such morning, she was talking about her roommate and referred to her as a "non-member investigator" - to which I replied "hmmm, I guess that's what I am".  After picking their jaws up off the floor, they started asking me questions to confirm that I actually said what they thought I had said.  They made sure I introduced to the missionaries the following Sunday.  So, I tell people my wife introduced me to the missionaries - in a very literal sense:  "Elders, this is Abelard - Abelard, these are the elders."

To make a long story short, I took the discussions and was baptized a couple of months later.  Before finishing up the school year, I decided that I should serve a mission.  My family was displeased - but I was determined.  I took a leave of absence from school and worked to save up money for my mission.  It took me 2 years - but I eventually served my mission.

During the time while I was saving up money, my [future] wife and I started dating.  We didn't live particularly close to one another so it was more of a long distance relationship.  We spent a lot of time talking on the phone; and, at least a couple of times per months, one of us would drive to the others home to spend the weekend together (we both lived at home - so it was also with family).  Although, we both realized that a lot can change in two years - so we formally broke up before I left on my mission.

Having non-member family made it difficult to share some of my more intimate missionary experiences.  My [future] wife wrote to me throughout my mission - and it was her that I felt I could share all of my hopes and fears, my successes and failures.  Upon returning home we rekindled our relationship.  Nine months after returning home I asked her to marry me.  Well ... to be honest, I was so nervous that I never actually said the words.  I just showed her the ring and hoped she got the hint (which she did) :)

We were married in the Oakland temple.  And the rest, as they say, is history ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great story. Thanks for sharing. :)