Friday, May 26, 2006

Why Utah > Kansas (warning, no knitting content)

It's no secret that I'm LDS. But I'm not your cookie-cutter LDS chick. I find that being LDS has been more of a spiritual journey, one of self-discovery and growth. It has had NOTHING to do with impressing people with my sanctimonious-ness, which seems to be something found not only in Mormon culture but also Catholic culture, Presbyterian culture, etc. I know. I lived in Kansas. Bible Belt, USA.

So anyways, back in Kansas, my hometeachers either never came or came and were incredibly condescending. Last time they visited, I was going through LPN school where I was assailed constantly by attacks upon my confidence. Who wouldn't be, those nursing instructors are HARPIES! I had a classmate who was expelled because she didn't get along with one of the instructors (or so the rumors said). I had to watch my back constantly, study like a maniac, and fight bouts of doubt and depression. And all the hometeacher would say is "Well, you lack self-confidence". No shit, sherlock! You would, too, in my shoes! And he'd go on about it for the entire duration of his visit, which usually lasted an hour or so. I dreaded it and finally called the bishop and told him that I did NOT want hometeachers ever again. Because if they changed them on me, the new ones would not visit anyways, so what's the point?

So, here I come to Utah. I'm thinking it'll be like Kansas, but worse. Everyone all caught up in their arrogance and holier-than-thou. Imagine my delight and incredible surprise when it's the exact opposite. And just to illustrate that, I got a story about Nick.

Nick was my hometeacher in April. He came, companion-less because his companion was very busy and hard to get a hold of. Typical, but I let Nick in. We chatted for two hours straight. I'm not like that with guys, I am very very awkward around men. They make me a little nervous. But I felt quite at ease with him. Fast-forward to last Friday where I was coming home from work at 3 and hit a rock as big as my fist and murder my right front tire, denting the rim. I took it to Walmart, but they wouldn't touch it. Now normally my dad would take over and help me fix it. But dad is over a thousand miles away and my aunt and uncle that I live with put in 10 hours a day at the dental office and get home when most businesses close or even later. So I called my hometeacher. I was expecting him to know of a place or two and to give me some numbers to call.

Can you imagine how I felt when not only did he offer to call the places he knew, but call again in the morning? Nick had connections with junkyards. He knew all the good ones and he called them and he was willing to bend over backwards for me. And yesterday, he called to tell me that one junkyard may have the rim I needed and because he did business with them, he could get me a discount! And then he came over and we both rode to the junkyard. The guy there saw the rim, hammered it back into place, free of charge, and sent us on our way.

This is way above and beyond the call of duty. No hometeacher has ever been there to make sure I could get around, offered to find me rides (he shares a car and couldn't offer to take me around because the car wasn't always available) and was so motivated to get me back on my feet. And that's a lot of how people ARE around here. I have people who see me outside of church who come up to say hi and they're so genuine and sweet.

I don't have any reason to go back to Kansas. It can keep its humidity, its flatness, and its nasty, snooty people. Hmmph!


  1. Okay, I'm pretty ignorant of some parts of LDS--can you explain what a hometeacher is (or poing me at a website that explains it)?

    When I lived in Nebraska, we'd get these adorable 18 year old boy missionaries sometimes. I always felt bad about telling them that I wasn't interested--because I am, but in an intellectual sort of way, not a conversion sort of way, if that makes sense.

  2. I have to say, Mormons fascinate me. I'm not christian, by any stretch. I'm .. spiritual, but not religious, I guess. But the Mormons, and LDS, simply and completely fascinates me.

  3. Interesting to hear a different point of view. Many Mormons I know, who are from outside of Utah, are frustrated by the "clannish" ways of Utah Mormons. I don't suppose UT-MOs are any more clannish than Bible-belters, given mob mentality and all. Still, it's good to hear that you've encountered the kind-hearted, non-judgmental ones.