I hate the cold. I’m from Southern California and every winter I wonder why I love where I live so much. With that said, my world changed in December 2010. I have 4 daughters and every year we go to the traditional ward ice skate party. Usually I’d pawn cold activities off on my hubby, but he can’t ice skate well and the last time I let him near an “amateur skater”, (one of my small children) they both ended up on the ground and the little one’s head got knocked too hard for my liking. So, December 2010 I feel like total crap. I’m trying to decide all day long if I should go and trying to justify sending my husband in my place. My 6 year old really wanted to go, and I knew I should help her. All day I tried to find reasons not to go, yet something told me I needed to go. I hated it, but I decided to go and left hubby at home with the 4 year old (activity starts at 9 at night).
We all got there and got our skates on and such. I tried to help out the little one and when she was ready to try skating on her own and hug the wall, I was left to mingle. I love our missionaries. We had the best missionaries at that time and I noticed a sweet young girl with them, so I skated over and said hello to them. This girl looked like a sister missionary, she was dressed like one, and talked like one. I was immediately drawn to her. I can’t explain it. I loved her face. Her countenance was amazing and her smile will melt your heart. We clicked instantly, and I kept looking for her companion. The missionaries asked me to talk to some non-members they found, and I tried, but I couldn’t find them (and I’m the worst missionary, they know that, so I kind of hated that they asked me to…). I’d look for a moment and then go right back to LadyMo. I was smitten. She’s contagious. A very witty, happy girl and we bonded immediately. I finally found out she wasn’t a member so I thought “Good, I’ll talk to her and skate with her since I want to anyway, and then the missionaries can’t be mad at me for not finding these other people”. So I did. I loved my time with her. I introduced her to my kids and included her because I really liked her. On the way home, she was all I could talk about. I felt like I made a really great friend, but I would never see her again. I expressed how much I enjoyed her to my kids in the car. I had a wonderful time and I was glad I went.
The next day, to my surprise (I believe it was the next day, could be 2 days later) Sweet Girl calls me up and wants to talk to me about “Mormony things”. So flippin hilarious. I couldn’t wait to see her smile again, so of course I invited her over for lunch. I called the missionaries and asked them what they thought she might want to talk about, and they just kind of laughed nervously and said “Here’s the story with Sweet Girl…………..Good Luck!!” I thought this was funny and should keep my life interesting for a while.
She showed up, and immediately I felt that closeness again, kind of like the comfortable feeling you get around a sister. She dove right into her thoughts and feelings. She debated, rationalized, lamented, worried, and thought. I thought her situation was interesting and intriguing. I enjoyed our conversation a lot. I am a blunt person and most times I will say things how I see it. I try to ask people first if they want my opinion, but they have to be prepared for the answer. I spoke plainly to her. Truly, she was confused, but mostly I could see that she was stubborn. It was obvious to me that she believed in God. She continued to say that she didn’t, but then she would contradict herself in all of her “Self dialoguing”. She’d say she didn’t know, but I knew she did. I knew it, and wondered why she was hiding it. I don’t think this about most people, but I did about her.
I’m not a good missionary, let me tell you why. I don’t want to convert anyone. I know that sounds wrong, but I don’t. If someone like LadyMo comes to me and asks me questions, I’ll tell everything I know, but I don’t want to talk anyone into anything they don’t want, aren’t looking for or haven’t asked for. I know that sounds bad, and we’re supposed to shout from the mountain tops “I’m MORMON, let me tell you how to be happy!!!” but I can’t do it, I can’t. Funny thing, just a few months before I met LadyMo, I had MoBoy over at my house and he was trying to convince me that I could share the gospel. I told him I couldn’t and that I was a bad missionary. We talked for a while and I refused and told him I just wouldn’t talk to anybody. So you can imagine his surprise later when I help LadyMo and he wonders what in the world I said to her.
Continuing on…….I was not out to convert LadyMo. I don’t do that. But I was curious, and curiosity killed the Nat (as my hubby says). I just told her what I thought. Our conversation that day was sooooo long and so diverse that I wish I could say more about what was said, but needless to say, LadyMo was a very confused girl. I saw that she was on a journey and I wanted to help her with her journey, where ever that took her. I was just in awe of her knowledge and maturity, and that she wanted to take such a journey at a young age. I did tell her that she was in denial and that she did believe in God. I tend to read people well. She told me about her dads. We talked a little while on that, and in the end she said she couldn’t go to my church because my church hated her family.
Me: My ward doesn’t hate your family, they love everyone
LadyMo: I feel terrible when I walk in the doors, I know I don’t belong there and everyone hates my family
Me: Who knows your dads are gay??
LadyMo: No one.
Me: How can they hate people they haven’t met and don’t even know they are gay?
LadyMo: They just do, and God hates my family. I feel terrible there.
Me: If you’re the only person who knows your dads are gay, and you’re feeling terrible there, then what does that say about you?? Maybe you’re resentful, embarrassed, I don’t know, but you better figure yourself out and how you feel about your family. Looks like YOU’RE the problem, not the people who have no information about you. They’ll all love you. How can you be feeling hostility from them, when they don’t know anything? It’s YOU LadyMo. Why do YOU feel that way? If you don’t mind your dads’ lifestyle, you should be able to walk into any place with pride.
Me: God doesn’t hate your family
This is just one of many, many conversations, but I remember this one clearly. LadyMo loves her family. I mean REALLY loves her family. I remember A LOT of …………
LadyMo: I WILL NOT GIVE UP MY FAMILY!!!
Me: God would never want you to….
LadyMo: If your church ever told me to give up my family and I had to choose between them, I WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE MY FAMILY!!!
Me: They never would and if they did, you should choose your family. God put you into that family, you’re meant to be there.
Maybe being a full blooded Italian has something to do with her devotion to her family, but whatever the case, DON’T MESS WITH HER FAMILY!! (hehehehehe) That day was soooo fun. We discussed so many worries. I enjoyed this Sweet Girl so much. I also wanted to see where her journey would take her. I told her she was on a journey and that it might take a long time. Eventually she would figure it out. I told her, I didn’t know where it would take her, what church she would belong to if any, but if she took the journey, she would end up where she needed to be. I told her I was proud and impressed that she even wanted to take it…….Little did I know, I’m still on the journey with this exceptionally sweet and wonderful spirit. I knew she was special that day.