Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Love in the MTC

By Sariah S. Wilson

If you’ve read my bio, you already know the basics of this story.

I met my husband my sophomore year of college. I worked at the Missionary Training Center and that year I was in the cafeteria. I was in charge of the silverware and the desserts. It was a fun time to be in the cafeteria--all of my male friends from my freshman year were now in the MTC and I was their favorite person as I could sneak contraband (i.e., Doritos and Ding-Dongs) in for them. Not that I did, mind you. That would be bad. Bad!

So I had a lot of people to write to because I strengthened many friendships while working there. Plus at the Y, it was always nice to have missionaries to write to, because then you didn’t seem so pathetic if you didn’t have a boyfriend. “Oh, I’m writing a missionary.”

I worked next to a girl named Elizabeth, and we had worked together at the MTC since our freshman year. I knew her well. She also had lots of friends there, including my future husband. They had gone to Israel in the same group for BYU Study Abroad, and you know how those Study Abroad people are. Friends for life. So he would come and talk to her every day and as I was in close proximity to her, he began talking to me too.

There was no instant love on my side. I thought he was kind of a dork. He wore these big, yellow, square glasses that apparently got darker when he went outside (guess the first thing I changed when we started dating). He was tall, which was nice (I’m 6’0” myself so tallness is always appreciated). But we hit it off in a friendly sort of way and he asked me if I would write to him. I told him I would--even more letters for me, right?

Now, I have no recollection of this (and neither does the husband), but my mother swears that he told me, “Now, don’t you get married before I get home.”

I didn’t wait for him. I didn’t wait for anyone. I just happened to be single when he got back. But the summer before he returned, my family was in the process of moving here to Ohio and I spent my time hanging out with the LDS boys who worked for pest control companies that lived in the same apartment complex that I did. I didn’t write him for the last four months or so of his mission.

When I returned to the Y that fall, I realized that Elder Wilson should be home soon, but I didn’t have any details as I had slacked off in my letter writing. I arrogantly thought that he would be sure to find a way to contact me. He didn’t.

My pride being thus injured, I went back through his letters and found his home address that he had once given to me. You can imagine my surprise when I went looking for his house, and said home was up on The Bench in Provo (near the big white Y). Anyone from Provo knows the kind of house I’m talking about. (The first time he took me on a tour of his house I freaked out that he had a drinking fountain in the hallway downstairs. I tried to explain to him that this was not ordinary. People didn’t have drinking fountains in their homes. He couldn’t understand my confusion. Fortunately, our son had a similar reaction last December. “Grandma has a drinking fountain! What?” That and he had a basketball court in his basement. Very much beyond my comprehension.) Someone entering the home stared at me and my roommate as we sat in her car, our mouths hanging open, me feeling totally intimidated.

We sped off, but I decided to return later because I really was miffed that he hadn’t tried to find me. When I knocked on his door, someone our age answered. I told him why I was there and the guy invited me in. He told me he and my husband’s other friends were throwing him a welcome home party and said I should stick around. So there I am in this house surrounded by people I don’t know. Awkward didn’t begin to cover it. I started thinking I should just leave.

My husband arrived with even more people and it was a good ten minutes before I could get close enough to the social flutter-by to say hello. He looked very different--much better looking than I remembered--gorgeous blue eyes, beautiful smile. Very handsome. I handed him a paper with my name and phone number, welcome home, that sort of thing. We chatted for a while until I got sick of everyone staring at us and decided to go. He walked me out to my car and later told me that he hadn’t realized who I was until I drove away. Apparently he didn’t recognize me without my MTC cafeteria uniform on.

He called me two days later. I still wasn’t all that interested, but agreed to go out. I remember telling my roommates that it would just be a one-time thing, that I felt obligated to go.

Then the night before our date he called me to chat. We chatted--clear up until 6:00 the next morning (which made me fall asleep during our first date, but that’s another story). It was then that I started thinking, “Huh. I could really like this guy.”

And really like him I did. We didn’t have the easiest courtship (and there is such a story there, one that I probably can’t share--suffice it to say that there were outside forces who did everything in their power to keep us from getting married--it was all very soap operaish) but we knew it was right and we got sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple.


At 2/19/2007 9:01 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I think this was the best week yet. I really enjoyed reading everyone's story. Now I wish I could read their spouses and see how it compares!

At 2/22/2007 9:09 AM, Blogger G. Parker said... seems all of you went to BYU so far...perhaps that's the prerequisit for getting published???? ARGH. LOL
Way fun to read the stories, ladies. I loved them all. You should put together a book of short stories of true loves that inspire...

At 2/22/2007 10:12 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

I went to the scenic U of U, where our honor code required that we smoke pot and wear muscle shirts.


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