Monday, June 24, 2013

Matchmaker, Make ME A Match?

A few weeks ago, the Misfit First Ward held an activity.  There is a girl in that ward who bills herself as "Utah's Matchmaker."  Honestly, I have no idea how good her services are, but I find this type of thing interesting, because it feels a little like making money off of others' desperation.  Then again, I could think of worse things to make money off of.

But that's not what this post is about.  Back to the activity.

The Matchmaker offered her services to the ward for this activity.  People signed up online by filling out a questionnaire, and then the Matchmaker used this to match people up.

And, we're not talking one match per person.  We're talking three matches per person, so that everyone would have three mini-dates by the end of the night.

I only signed up because I was tired of all the begging for more men to sign up.  After all, if we didn't have equal numbers of men and women, there would have to be some polyg-a-dating going on, and that would be a bad thing.  Trust me -- my first exposure to speed dating as speed polyg-a-dating.  It was bad, very bad.  I didn't want to go, but decided after getting nagged that if all else fails, this would help get me out of my rut.

So, I signed up for the activity, and awaited info on where I was going.  I finally got a phone call about what I was supposed to bring, and where to go. That night, we all met at the church.  When we got called regarding our food assignment, we also were given a color assignment.  There were corresponding colors posted all around the gym (plus people standing by the entrances with lists in case you didn't remember your color).  When you found your color, there was someone standing there with nametags and maps showing you whose house you were going to.  The nametags had your name plus three other names.  You had to find the first name on our tag, and travel to dinner with that person.  Once everyone got to dinner, you ate with the middle person, then traveled back to the church and the girl's car with the person on the bottom of your list.

The first two people I had a date with were O.K.  To be fair, I didn't fill out the entire questionnaire, so the Matchmaker didn't have much to go on.  During dinner, I went into the kitchen to replenish our drinks, and saw another guy who commented that the girl he was with was definitely NOT a match for him.  Well, turns out she was MY date #3, and definitely my best match of the night.  We had an enjoyable conversation, and I honestly wish the night could have gone on a little longer, but I had to head to work.  Of course, since I have horrible skills, I didn't even ask for a phone number, but I hope to run into her again.  Of course, since we're not in the same ward anymore, that might be a little more difficult, but we'll see.

So, with limited information, the Matchmaker was able to bat 33%.  That's actually pretty good if you ask me.


Sunday, June 09, 2013

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Thirteen Years ago today, I experienced a big "new beginning" -- the end of my mission.  On June 9, 2000, I flew back home from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Since then, June 9 has been a day to reflect on "new beginnings" in my life.  Sort of like a second stab at New Year's Day, without the counting down til midnight.

There have been many "new beginnings" in the past few months -- I started a new job in a totally foreign career, I bought a car by myself for the first time, and I moved to a different county.  However, today, I want to reflect on a different "new beginning" currently in progress.

On that beautiful day 13 years ago, I woke up with zero desire to ever go to a single's ward.  However, when I was sitting in the Stake President's office, he challenged me to try the local single's ward for three months.  He had an agreement with the bishop of that ward that new missionaries wouldn't get a calling for those three months, so that if the didn't like the ward, they wouldn't feel trapped there at the end of the three months.  I took up the challenge, and tried the single's ward.

Nearly 11 years later, I was still in that single's ward.  it was time to move on.  I decided to try what my friend had called the Ward of Misfit Toys -- a midsingles ward (cue ominous BOOM BOOM BOOM here).  I discovered that there were many misfits in that ward, but also came to realize that I, too, was a misfit.  I knew that this was the ward for me.

That was a little more than two years ago.  With my recent move, I was no longer living in that ward's boundaries.  Even though the bishop told me that I could stay, since there are many ward members who don't live in the boundaries, I have come to the realization that it is time for me to change to another ward.  Yes, the Misfit 2nd Ward.

I'll miss my time in the Misfit 1st Ward.  My best friend (the one who coined the term and only came to the ward with me kicking and screaming) met his wife in the ward.  I've made many friends, renewed old friendships, and hope to continue those friendships.  I've even met a few people that, if life had happened slightly differently, we probably would have crossed each other's paths, and still become friends.

During my time there, I have learned many lessons in the Lord's timing, I've seen people make themselves into better people, and I've seen people accept others, including their flaws.  As one ward member said in his testimony before getting married "Look for the wondrous miracles in our lives, because I see them every day!"  I've learned much, gained greatly, and even become a little less of a misfit during my time there.  Just because I'm no longer a member of the Misfit 1st Ward doesn't mean that I'm not going completely disappear -- I'll still attend the occasional activity.

May the Lord bless and keep all my friends in the Misfit 1st Ward, and may He continue to shine his countenance upon you.