Twelve Days

So, the weirdest thing, on Tuesday.  I came in the lab, and there she was, Sun-young, at the front.  I went and sat next to her… and she suddenly turned to me and started telling me some story and asking what I thought…
 
…It was about some boy in Provo who had started to be interested in her. >_<  Shucks.
 
Other people interfere with my love, but I won’t interfere with other people’s.  I hate trying for girls who already like or already pertain to other boys.
 
Well, I listened, anyway, and gave her my usual feedback.  His name was "Sterling", and her hesitations were that he was six years too young for her (she’s almost my age), liked her too suddenly, was pre-mission, and was liked by other girls.  Anyway, she’d been getting good "feelings" and coincidences that encouraged her about it…  I told her my belief in the changeability of people; I told her what I thought about the fallibility of girls’ feelings, summarizing the Sister Lam story; and I warned her finally to proceed carefully and let time be the real judge of truth.
 
…And just as suddenly, she stopped talking… and a few minutes later, left without a goodbye.  The weirdo.
 
I saw her again unexpectedly in the lab on Wednesday, and talked to her only after Mable (the cousin of Inonge (my Zambian friend)) called me "lame" for being too shy.  On Thursday, I passed by her in the same place and had a brief and unproductive exchange.

Well, my wish was answered to know more about her, with that story.  And I’m starting to see her personality too; and so far, it seems like she would really have been just a "replacement" and not someone of a more permanent character.  What I mean is, she seems too normal, not outstanding.  I’ll still try to like her for now though and see if anything new comes, even though I silenced my first hopes when I heard about that "Sterling".

 
Yeah, she kind of seemed hyper-religious… that kind that girls are sometimes, with religion infiltrating all parts of their lives… yet the religion seems to be………….. like, just a…. lifestyle, a tradition, a culture, and not a living thing — it seems like just something they’ve been taught very well, but have never really understood for themselves.  And so they don’t see the real power in it.  For example, they might just think it’s about getting "good feelings" about boys, and not about making highways through oceans, humbling mountains and kings, delivering the oppressed, and defining futurity.
 
Well, the unseen changes of the individual soul are by far the most miraculous effects of true religion, having the power to turn men into gods, or devils, if untrue religion… but still, this hyper-religious type of girl just seems to not think very hard about what she believes, why she believes; her religion seems like a recitation.
 
We want a living religion, something real, or else no religion at all.  And "no religion" is not an option here, surrounded as we are by demons, sirens, and their songs of philosophy.  This Western atheism is the most tyrannic of all religions; atheists become prisoners of their own minds, and agnostics slaves to their doubts.  The "open-minded" have their minds opened in one direction only: towards hell, towards misery.  What a dark cloak has fallen over our race; so that our African brethren merely have browned skins, while we have blackened spirits.  Our planet is getting warmer, but the love of mankind is growing cold — and foremost is our hatred of ourselves, because we have forced ourselves to vomit out everything respectable in us, calling our starving, atrophying state a state of "freedom", and calling our malnourished, deathly paleness an "enlightenment".
 
Let you "open-minded" open your minds for the first time in your lives, and stick this in them:
 
You, I, we all know nothing.  God is the possessor of truth.
 
Forget everything else, and know that thing only, or else you are a believer of lies, and you are the ones who will become devils instead of gods… and in a coming day, your security will collapse to the earth like a tower with an airplane landed into it.
 
Well… people deserve what’s coming.  We’ve been warned and warned and warned, from every direction; even the religions severed from God have warned us in their partial ways.  Even the heavenly bodies have warned us, and will warn us again; the earth has warned us, the flood and the fire, and they will all shout at us more loudly…
 
"…Repent!"
 
And still we will not repent, will we?
 
…But some will.  Let us be among those few.

To repent is to change our desires and begin to follow the directions of God we haven’t wanted to follow.

God’s commands are these:

Love him, be his child.  Talk to him, seek counsel from him — follow it.  Thank him.

 
Love each other.  Forgive the ones you hate.  Abuse no person, steal away the rights of no one; be the punisher of no one, don’t be an avenger.  Be patient with those who hurt you, as you would endure the mistaken slap of a clamoring infant.  Forgive, and forgive quickly; see past the person’s ill intent to their hidden good intent.  Do evil to none, not even by words, and teach no one to do evil.  Do not make evil your entertainment.  Consider all as yourself; and help in whatever way you can.  Love each other.
 
And when God adds to you, or takes away, accept it.  Know what God requires, and don’t refuse to do it.

Do these simple things, follow them to their extent, and when the lights go out around you and the world goes dark…

 
…You will be left shining.
 
 
Anyway, that was Sun-young.  I’ll talk to her next time I see her, too.  There’s only a week left here.

On Tuesday, after she told me about that boy so randomly, the first thing, and then left afterwards… I started thinking I was just cursed; every girl I ever liked or tried to like would disappoint me, even this not-super-pretty one.  I got kind of down and decided to visit Temple Square.  The more I thought, the surer I was that I was being locked out of love.  Somehow I went to the JSMB instead of the north visitor’s, where I usually go.  I came into the main lobby and, looking up, saw a choir of young poeple on the mezzanine, the second floor, above the front doors.  They started singing…

 
It was Christmas songs.  I wanted to hear more, see if they could dispel my sorrow…  I went upstairs and sat down across the way.
 
Oh, it was just lovely…  I think they sang for about half an hour.
 
I had come in remembering troubles, and I left with them forgotten.  I picked up a schedule on my way back to school: that choir was from Hunter High School.
 
 
So, at school there is this very graceful girl Jennifer Ostojic (I think "Ostoyich").  I became interested in her.  When I met her, I asked her about her name; I think she said it was Yugoslavic.  So I was thinking she was from there…  I talked to her a few times and offered her some small tokens on different occasions.  She took the first and rejected the second, and from that point I stopped trying to talk to her.  She makes no effort to talk to guys herself, as if she’s hiding a husband back in her homeland or something strange.  So even friendship would be one-sided, and her gracefulness is wasted.
 
Well, one day my Korean friend Im Namkyu and I were talking, and he shocked me by confessing an interest in that girl.  I didn’t know how to react…  I thought I would feel jealous, but this was my friend Namkyu, whom I admire, and she had already rejected me.  I advised him and wished him luck.  He also surprised me with the revelation that she was actually from Bolivia; I asked him to confirm it later.  I told him that I had already liked her and then stopped liking her.  He agreed with me that she was only friendly to her few female Bolivian friends, and seemed hard to make friends with — closed-hearted.
 
So… I don’t know how long it’s been; maybe three weeks.  But just Tuesday, I ran into Namkyu in the library.  He told me about a date he was going to have on Saturday with a Korean girl.  O.k., that’s nice.  As I was leaving, I saw him go over to Jennifer in the library and… like… touch her shoulder, kind of massage her neck a bit.  …Sick.  I was all… "Euh… what in the world…"  Must’ve gone well between them, I guessed.  …Which, yes, made me wonder again if I would feel jealous that she had not rejected him.  I thought back to Sun-young instead.
 
Anyway, the next day, I think, I met him in the stairs and got around to asking about Jennifer, and he dismissed my assumptions, saying that she hadn’t been very interested in him.  Hmm.
 
So then I asked him about his Saturday date.  We shared ideas on what they could do.  He said they had gone out a couple times or something in Korea, but he gave me the impression that he really didn’t expect anything to come out of this date; he didn’t seem to like her.  I asked him what he didn’t like about her…  He said I would probably think she was pretty.  Was she smart?  Yes… and she was a missionary… a Hong Kong missionary.  Wait a second…! 😮  Who is it?  He said she was the only Korean missionary in Hong Kong…  Was that her?  I knew that girl!  I couldn’t remember her name, so he told me: Kim Jeong-un!  Oh gosh…  I told him that was the sister I had tried to like, some years ago, because she spoke both Cantonese and Korean!  And I said I had e-mailed her before and she answered back, but then she stopped talking… and that I met her at a reunion once, but never as a missionary.  He was confused…  He asked where I served a mission.  I told him, Hong Kong!  He said, "I thought you served in Salt Lake!"  I told him I did…  Ha ha.  …For six months!  But for 18 months in Hong Kong, and that was why I had tried to like Kim Jeong-un, and craved her languages.
 
Well, we got a laugh out of that.  I told him I thought she was really great, and asked him to give her a chance… and if things really went badly, to give her my number. ;o  He instantly agreed, but I told him to nevermind, since I was sure she didn’t like me.  But I told him he could talk to her about me, say that he knew a Hong Kong missionary.  And before he left, I tried to teach him a phrase in Cantonese to tell her, "You’re very pretty."
 
Wow…  Kim Jeong-un.  Too bad there aren’t more like her.
I hope Namkyu stops liking girls I liked, though.  But I guess it was the other way around this time.  He knew her first, in Korea.
 
Anyway, that Jennifer has a Bolivian friend I have considered being interested in.  I think her name is……. Mar…. Marcella?  Marisela?  Something…  I first noticed her because she walks with a single arm brace on account of one of her legs.  When I saw that, I was immediately reminded of Eunhee; and her association with graceful Jennifer has elevated her even more in my view.  I’ve never really liked Spanish-speaking girls (which was why I was so startled to learn Jennifer was Bolivian), but I thought I would consider this one.  I have had about as little opportunity to talk with her as with Jennifer, though.  I saw her at a piano once and said something stupid… and prior to that, I asked her name in the elevator once.  That’s about it.  I’m a bit nervous about approaching her directly.  Yesterday as I was microwaving my cup-noodles in the student lounge at school, she bought something from a vending machine there, and it got stuck in the machine.  I kind of… got up to help… but right then she asked a guy who had been sitting with Jennifer and her, and he went and shook the machine and unstuck her purchase.
 
Hmm…
 
One more week.  Who knows if any of these people will be here next semester?
 
Well, she’ll be no different from the others.  I’m better off forgetting about her while it’s still easy.
 
Also on Tuesday, two of us in speech class gave impromptu speeches.  Mine was to be about "what we could do to promote world peace".  I started planning to tell my story of stopping the street kid / street preacher fight in 2003, and encouraging people to be peacemakers in their own sphere… but I forgot that and instead just talked about not thinking poorly of foreigners, and using the opportunity of studying here to become more involved with people from different backgrounds.  I first made reference to Saddam Hussein invading his neighbor Kuwait.
 
On Thursday, Jeremy Williams, Tim Trottier and I gave our group speech.  We discussed anabolic (used for "building up") steroid use in sports and the possibility of legalization and regulation.  We followed the format of a political talk show (we did "Politically Correct", with Steve Maher).  I was the moderator, and Jeremy (the real-life bodybuilder) was the pro-steroid side.  Tim did a great job as a sports commentator who argued against steroids.  We concluded that nobody wanted young athletes using steroids, and it was probably impractical to regulate legalized steroids.  Well, doing this project left me impressed by Tim’s articulation and depth of sports awareness, and Jeremy has impressed me as a very well-organized and intelligent guy despite his considerable arm circumference.  It was a great speech.  I think we were maybe the best group because of their presentation and because of my jokes, which I picked up by going over some "Real Time" (with Bill Maher) transcripts.  I could have emulated him a lot more, though, and made a bigger impact.  I didn’t "discuss" enough.  It was a fun and successful project, anyway, although we were maybe on the slim side of preparation, having only met together two or three times, practicing on the third, right before class.
 
 
Speaking of speaking, Mitt Romney made his religion speech, "Faith in America", on Thursday.  Really amazing, and excellent delivery.  Here’s a comment I wrote on it somewhere:
I’m LDS, and Mitt’s speech, honestly… was nothing new. We preach that kind of stuff all the time.
 
Why? Because it’s true. And you can see in the reactions of Americans to this speech how open their minds really are to sound philosophy, or on the other hand, how tightly they cling to their bigotry after all these years.
 
Well, you know a speech is good if the speaker’s opponents all basically agree with it. If Romney isn’t elected after this speech, then America can bring home the troops and keep them there, because we won’t have enough moral character to deserve to be the leader of the world — let China do it.
After making that comment, I read others from various places…  It really had an impact on a lot of people, and as I mentioned, even the critics admitted its merits.
 
…Then came the reaction of the anti-Mitts.
 
…And I was left to sorrow…
My sorrow?  That Mitt is the better candidate, on both sides; but that Americans will prefer a less-qualified person of ANY religion to a more-qualified member of my religion.
 
My sorrow is that after 160 years, a person is still unable to be both a "Mormon" and an "American".
My sadness is that I, Steve Foster, will never be able to be elected as president in this country unless I disavow my religion.
 
And my disgust… is that Mitt is the one who would save the Republican party in our time, but it’s Republicans who are his biggest foes.  And that Mitt by his very identity would do more for Christianity in this country than any of the others, as highlighted in his speech, but it’s "Christians" who would impede him.
 
Why, you "Christians"?  Tell me why.  I can hardly even use "Christian" to describe you hypocrites, except in quotes, because you forsake your God and you betray your Bible.  I’m sorry to have to say it, but your religion is the religion of insincerity; and you "Christians" are the ones who from the beginning have inspired America to persecute the Church of Christ, just as the so-called "people of God" were the ones who sentenced God to death in the middle of time.  You are they who need to be preached to the most; yet you need it more and more with every sermon you hear.

Come to the Mormon Church, you "Christians", and you might just learn what Christianity is.  Come to Jesus, and be saved alongside all true believers.

 
Why have you inspired other Americans to persecute my people?  Why do you make it impossible to be LDS and to also be elected president?  Why do you reject the best leader for this country?

"Because," you say, "you wear magic underwear!"

 
We wear the clothing God has commanded us to wear, embroidered with signs that communicate ideas of walking straightly and uprightly before God.  And we wear them close to our bodies, while many Americans would rather wear nothing at all; and thoughts of following God’s laws are the furthest things from their bodies.
 
And why do we wear them?
 
Because God commanded it!  Do you really want to both disobey God yourselves, and force the obedient to disobey?  Do you really want to take mission trips all over the world to make converts for God, and after you make them, teach them to hate God’s words even more than you do?
 
You disbelieve that God clothes us; you also disbelieve that he ever clothed Adam (Genesis 3:21); you reject that he ever made the priests to wear their "magic" garments (Exodus 28:4); you disallow that he ever commanded the Jews to put "magic" blue ribbons in the borders of their clothes (Numbers 15:38).

In insulting us, you insult your own Bible, and become a congregation of hypocrites… and a political party of liars.

 
"What if your prophet commands Mitt… anything?  He’ll do it!"

And what if Lucifer, the god of Rudy, John, Fred, and Mike, commands them to do anything?  They’ll do it, won’t they?  They’ll betray the country to the Muslims, they’ll lock us all up in jail, they’ll kill everybody!

…Won’t they?

 
Yes, of course they will, or else your churches are teaching you how to lie about Mitt.  Come to the Mormon Church, and we’ll teach you honesty.
 
"You believe Satan and Jesus are brothers!"
 
Then, do you believe in a devil that existed before God?  Then go worship him, if he is the true god in your doctrine.  But to us, God is primal; he came before Satan, and he is the creator of all.  If, therefore, there is a Satan, then he was created by God.  You rather believe… what?  That Satan created God, instead?  And for that, you would reject the best man for the presidency?
 
Stunning reasoning, you "Christians", you Republicans, which you have now taught to the Democrats.
 
"You are polygamists!"

And so is the father of your and our Lord, Jesus, the "son of David"!  Your and my saviour belonged to a long line of polygamists, through his mother Mary and adopted father Joseph… according to your and our Bible.  "Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee
king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; and I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom…" (2 Samuel 12:7,8).  Not David only, but your and my father Abraham, whom Jesus said resides in heaven (Luke 16:22), was an avowed polygamist; so were his descendants.
 
And in your condemnation of us, that God commanded the same to some among us a century ago, you are effectually tearing pages out of your own Bible and committing them to flames.  And if you thus despise the words of God, you in further effect are hanging your own God up on two posts until he is dead — the same God you think you pray to on Sunday.  How is such a religion not a lie?
 
"You believe in a different Jesus!"

We believe in the correct one, whom the "Christian" Bible says Stephen saw: "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55).  But the idolaters of this country believe in a different Jesus; a Catholic Jesus; a Jesus who begat himself, who sent himself, who accepted himself, who in obeying himself did nothing of himself, who prayed to and answered himself, who did his own will instead of his own will, who forsook himself, and who gave power to himself to raise himself from the grave.  And this Jesus, I am sorry to inform you, does not exist.  And so the religion that worships him is empty.  Let the idolatrous "Christians" come to the Mormon Church, learn who Jesus is, repent of their idolatry; and elect the president who knows their religion better than they do.
 
What, what else?  I have to move on with this journal.  What other truth have "Christians" taught Americans to hate?

"You’re racist!"

We were abolitionists, while "Christians" likely kept slaves.  We are the ones feeding and immunizing Africa now, our cult and the Catholic cult.  We are the ones who are not phobic toward Arabs, or any other race of people, and Mitt Romney is the one who would give the other nations of earth their due respect.

"You believe in gold plates from angels!"

"Christians" disbelieve both angels and gold plates, as they disbelieve in stone tablets from God and disbelieve in the copper Dead Sea scrolls which contain part of their Bible, which they disbelieve.

"You believe Jews travelled to America!"

"Christians" believe people were dropped onto the islands by storks instead of by boats.  We believe that God was no liar who said he would scatter Israel "among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other" (Deutoronomy 28:64).

 
"You believe man can become like God!"

We believe in following Jesus — wherever he leads, even if he leads us up to the throne of his Father (Revelation 3:21) — because Jesus first "became like God".  "Christians" apparently believe men both came from animals and are destined to forever remain animals, in God’s sight.  They believe men are the toys of God, never the children, certainly never the heirs (Romans 8:17).

 
"You… you…….. you don’t believe in grace!"

We believe in the grace that we have received, that comes to all righteous believers.  Well, we’re no different from "Christians" in this regard, except that we know that God’s grace is also more expansive than they can comprehend, reaching out in degree to all mankind in the end, and not just to the 0.0001% of "Christians" that believe exactly as they do.

 
…Well, if "Christians" reject Mitt Romney from their party, which they possess by majority, and from their country because of his true religion, then they reject me.  And if Mitt loses the nomination, I can do nothing more for Republicans; no, not in this election.  And I will be forced to seriously consider voting for a Democrat — because to me, freedom is holier than life; and the abortion of the children of sinners is more acceptable to me than supporting the bigotry that enslaves my people, makes us subhuman in our own country.  While Democrats would very probably enhance the impoverishment, cowardice, and immorality of this nation of sinners, what affects me even more is that "Christian" Republicans would prohibit me from living my religion.  Either Americans are damned by Democrats, or I am damned by Republicans… and I choose myself first, because Americans don’t even want to be saved.  I cannot support their plans or their favoured candidates.

Fools, fools…  Their party is falling down, and they reject the one who could hold it up.

Repent, repent.  Come to the Mormon Church.  I don’t say it sarcastically; I say it as a plea.  Not your nation, only, "Christians" — your souls would be blessed by it.

 
 
Well, now.  Moving on…
 
The birds outside our kitchen window are so funny.  They all just take off at the slightest thing, then come back about twenty seconds later…  You have to take special care to not startle them.  Sometimes they fight over the birdfeeder.
 
It’s been snowing lightly all day; yesterday, it started raining.  The roads were snowy again going to work this morning.  It’s really pretty exciting driving on this snow.
 
The big planes have been late every day this week and I haven’t been able to stay and help finish the small planes, except today, when we only have one small plane anyway.  I have one more week of crossing work until next year.

I was able to tape an open box today.  Yesterday or the day before, I taped up a box of books that had come all apart, and some other one.  I hope the DHL guys do that kind of thing regularly because none of us ramp loaders do.  I really hope I can make some sort of difference there in how we handle packages.  The guys there kick them, throw them, drop them, roll them…  They don’t care.  Some guys are better, some are worse.  They treat the "hazardous" ones appropriately, but not many others.  Sometimes the forklift drivers knock over their stacks accidentally — but sometimes from pure carelessness.  I’ve seen a few packages demolished.  It really bothers me to see it, although I understand the time constraints we sometimes work under, and how much work there is to do.  We really have room for improvement, though, and I guess only a new guy would recognize it.  The kid I trained with, Yuki, also seems to still "handle with care".

 
Today, there were some 16 (moderately heavy) boxes being "returned to origin", labelled as carrying batteries.  They were from the Church, going to the Aba Nigeria temple.  All of them had been marked, "NOT an approved international shipper".  The couple DHL drivers who work near us got a good laugh out of that, as if the disapproval had been about the Church, one of the major international shippers serviced by DHL, and maybe one of the very few extensive enough to even ship stuff to Nigeria.  I can’t imagine that it would’ve been, but… who knows how Nigeria does things.  I didn’t notice any indications that the boxes made it out of the country.
 
 
Well, strange stuff happens all the time at my crossing job.
 
On Tuesday, some east-bound pick-up truck had a framed window slide out of their truck bed and hit the road with a loud smack.  The window stayed intact, and the car coming up behind braked and sat there behind it.  I was crossing people at the time (with the east-west traffic, which has a shorter green light), and was waiting for the west-bound lanes between me and the window to clear so I could run out and grab it; but just then, I noticed these two guys running back from up the road (they’d parked their truck and jumped out).  They got the window and carried it to the corner, then at the next light, one went back to get the truck.

Also, some guy’s car died at a red light, and he pushed it into the left-turn lane.  I went over and helped push him into a U-turn so he could park on the roadside behind my car; after that, he called a friend to pick him up.

 
On Wednesday as I was driving to my work corner, the vehicle ahead of me was slowing down, so I passed on the right — but just as I got into the lane, I saw a big old black plastic bag in the road.  I swerved just a little but had nowhere else to go.  I was glad it was more or less empty as I plowed through it.  The car behind me got it caught underneath their car, and down State Street they went dragging it behind them, this big black thing, passing me as I parked on the roadside.  I thought about getting out quickly and grabbing for it but I didn’t have enough time.
 
Later, some woman pedestrian across the road just started out into the street, coming toward me, right before the light turned green for the cars to run her over.  I tried waving…  Fortunately, she caught herself and went back to her corner before crossing with the traffic in the other direction and continuing down the street.
 
On Thursday, these two kids in the morning came right up to me and stared at me.  Some adult was also waiting to cross there.  "What?" I asked.  No answer.  "What?"  The brother at last said, "You’re the guy who looks like Superman."  I remember now that he had made a similar remark several weeks ago.  These kids don’t walk every day.  Anyway, I asked him, "Why do you think I look like Superman?  It’s the colors, right?"  I had on a dark blue sweater beneath my orange traffic vest.  "Your face, and you have glasses like him."  Oh, I got it…  His sister then asked, "Can you fly?"  "No," I said, "unless a car hits me.  And you’ll fly too if they hit you, so remember to look both ways."  The light had just turned green, and we crossed.
 
Later that morning, the well-fed half-Hispanic kid crossed with his Honduran mother.  They were talking…  He bent over and spit something up on the sidewalk.  Before I knew it, they were both yelling at each other.  The kid started screaming, "I don’t want Spanish food!  I want AMERICAN food!"  His equally well-fed mother was swearing at him…  I interrupted, "Well, I like Spanish food.  You know, the more you eat it, the more you’ll like it."  He stopped yelling as his mother agreed and concluded that he was "just a slacker" who didn’t care.  We crossed.

On Friday, some big, tall truck turned left right over my cone and dragged it a few feet.  I had a few seconds still on the light, so I ran out and recovered it…

 
 
Well, every day since my last entry I’ve thought less about her, and more of the thoughts I have had have been positive ones.
 
On, uh… Tuesday… I started thinking that… only three more weeks of not talking would not be too difficult; and by that time maybe I wouldn’t even care any more.
 
On Thursday I was feeling a bit more independent.  I thought that I wasn’t sad about her anymore.  I thought that I probably should have left her right after I left Korea last year instead of suffering for a year after she left me.

But, if I had done that… would she have joined the Church?  She thinks she would’ve; she said that she’d met missionaries before (long ago), and there was "something inside her" that led her to the Church; it wasn’t me.

 
…Yeah right, though.  Not only might she never have run into missionaries again; if she did, she hated the Church so much back then that she would’ve gone out of her way to avoid them.  It was really difficult getting her connected with the Church, getting her to be sympathetic towards it.  That "something inside her" never manifested itself until after I had struggled like crazy with her.  She finally gave the Church a chance; and then, yes, maybe she was drawn to it herself from there.  I hope so.  If not, then her conversion wouldn’t have been sincere.
 
…But, I think that’s right; she wouldn’t have joined without me; because, also, I know how impressionable she is by those around her.  Many of her mannerisms, habits, and interests are blatant reflections of those of the people around her.  She’s even copied me, the one she rejects and "fears" — she’s started taking note of modesty and vulgarness online; she’s started disliking Nirvana, a band she loved; she’s started deleting people and pages online; and several other things, habits, people, or places she likes or dislikes because I first liked or disliked them.
 
…And the ones around her before had nothing to do with the Church.
 
No, she would definitely be out of the Church right now if I could go back and spare myself from her.
 
So if it was a matter of her soul, then I wouldn’t change the past.
 
But if not… how much smarter and happier I would have been if I had left her before she could leave me.
 
Anyway, finally these days, I just… began to think that I missed her very much and I shouldn’t have said anything unkind.  Every time I look at the snow on the road or in the yard, I just wonder what weather she will get to see when she comes.  I hope she likes it.  But anyway, I think I miss her less and less…
 
She said, if I wanted to talk again I should add her to my MSN Messenger and she would talk…  But I’ve been waiting for her to add me instead, if she wants to talk… because she didn’t like how I "repeated things", deleting her and then adding her again.  Anyway, she hasn’t added me…
 
Well, I haven’t felt forced to initiate conversation this time, as I have in the past after a space of silence between us.  But, almost.  It’s hard not to talk when all my unhappy feelings about her have faded away.
 
So, I was talking to my mom last night for a long time, and I told her all my thoughts about this girl.
 
…And I asked her to pray once more for her, as she had done when I was trying to share the gospel with her (and maybe also on other occasions).  Her prayer was effective then…
 
…And I assume it was effective this time.  I mean, I assume she did pray.
 
…Because today, finally, she messaged me on Facebook… and after that message, at least now I know she didn’t want to "totally delete me" as she had said.
 
…Ah…… what a relief….  Why did she wait so long?
 
Well, the wait is over, now, anyway, and we can be friends again.  I guess I’ll add her back to Messenger soon.
 
As far as I know, this is the longest we have gone without talking…. maybe even from the very beginning, at the end of 2004.  (She once insisted that it was the start of 2005, but I think it’s the end of 2004.)  There may have been some lengthy gaps early on, though, before we became fast friends.
 
But the count has now been reset, and I am relieved… and grateful.
 
I think…………..  I think I will never want to say an unkind word to her again.
 
…Oh, be careful, though, Steve.  The second I let down my guard, I would become interested in her again, be hurt again by her rejection, get upset again, and push her away again.
 
Maybe it’s better to just still not talk to her.  At least we haven’t argued for these 12 days.  Well, we haven’t really argued all summer and fall, either… except for two times recently.  We really get along very well, usually.
 
…Anyhow… she’s coming here.  I have to talk.

Maybe I’ll wait a week, and then add her.

 
-Steve
 
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