And so, it was with extreme trepidation that I answered the phone last Sunday evening. For those of you who lack familiarity with the Mormon faith, Sunday nights are prime Bishropic pickings for catching members and extending callings and speaking assignments to them. I know this. Papi knows this. Yet, he still answered the phone and handed it to me.
Our genial second counselor oozed warmth and enthusiasm as he greeted me. I mumbled a "Hello. Yeah. Doing fine", back to him dreading what was to come next. My seven years of good luck had finally run out, Brother Porter asked me to speak during Sacrament meeting next week. *cue the recorded scream soundtrack* He remarked that when asked for names of fellow converts in the Ward, mine stood out like a beacon above all the rest. Brother Porter informed me that my mission, should I choose to accept it, is to make a short delivery to the Ward regarding how I came to know the Church, what propelled me to accept it and get baptized, and my own convert perspective testimony. During the whole length of his end of the conversation, I kept thinking, "Oh CRAP! Why me?" Visions of my beginnings in the Church flashed before my eyes, and they weren't all that spiritual. No, definitely not the stuff quality Sacrament talks are made of.
So, I knew Papi from work and we became friends. One day he invited me to go to Church with him. Thinking that he's Catholic, I agree. Oh surprise, we pulled up outside an LDS chapel. Papi promptly introduced me to two missionaries, and my 19 year old self promptly developed a crush on one of them. I started feeding them at my apartment every Friday, and taking the Gospel discussions with Papi by their side. I liked one of the Elders, but his companion liked me. During Sunday School when I didn't think that my butt could get any number from 3 hours of monotonous sitting, Elder Gardner started speaking of holy things in my ear.............using a Kermit The Frog voice. Not to be outdone, Papi competed with him by pretending to pick out imaginary monkey fleas out of my hair, examine them, and them eat them. The two broke into an all out GOOFBALL Competition to win my affection. I'm no raving beauty, and I had never commanded so much attention before, so I just basked in the glow of two men and their less than reverent antics. I did feel moved by the words of The Book Of Mormon, and I did feel peace at the organization of the Church itself, and their teachings. However, I made the decision to baptize before I was ready just so the Elder that I liked could be the one to baptize me before he went back home. Thus, I immediately went inactive until my oldest daughter turned 3, and now have found my faith and reverence much stronger than I did as a silly, clueless teen girl.
It's shameful, I know, and not something I want to share with everyone. Papi frowns on rejecting any calling or request made of me by Church leaders. With a resounding sigh, I told Brother Porter that yes, I would give a talk. He sounded thrilled as he told me not to forget October 22 as the big day. "What??!!!??", I asked, trying to keep my voice from sounding too excited. Brother Porter again mentioned October 22 as the date to reserve. To which I laughingly replied, "Oh Brother Porter, I'm soooooooo sorry, but I'm going to be out of town that day." What a reversal of fortune, for now I became the chirpy, jubilant creature while Brother Porter transformed into the sighing reluctant person I had been just minutes before. Ha Ha, I escaped from the nerve wracking clutches of public speaking duty once again. Here's to an additional 7 years good luck without Scarament talk assignments.
Add another entry to my already voluminous Big Book Of Sins.