May’s Guide to A Successful Mormon Sabbath, Part 1

Go to church. It’s remarkable how showing up to meetings can affect your day. It was pretty simple. I texted one of my roommates, asking if she was going to church, would she mind giving me a ride. And she said yes, because Mormons almost always say yes. Once I actually got to church, things were okay. I talked to a few people. A member of the bishopric, whom I’ve never met, sought me out and wanted to test his name guessing skills on me. He got my name right, and I didn’t even let on I was the least bit freaked out. I also took research-type notes during classes, which helped me pay attention. These notes may serve as writing kindle, and that’s always exciting. They asked me to pray, which is always an experience. I even raised my hand and asked a question to progress the discussion in Relief Society. Lest you think my halo returned to its full glow, I duly smirked at a few remarks during classes because they were weird, and I am cynical.

Eat pancakes or other foodstuffs after church when they serve them. I got to sit with a few people I didn’t  know, and I let them talk, and I laughed. I interjected a few snide remarks, and I also may have found another friend with whom to watch television. Food is the great equalizer, the main unifier in this culture. It meets a major temporal need so we can address the more important spiritual hunger which we all have. Sometimes during these opportunities people discover how funny I can be. I can be pretty dang hilarious.

Listen to classical music. This can apply to any day of the week, but it’s especially conducive to pleasant Sabbaths. I was blasting Respighi while getting dressed in the morning, and I played him after church.

Banter with home teachers. It’s pretty easy to joke with guys.

Spend time with roommates. My roommates are actually pretty cool people. We share stories and we laugh, and I nearly forgot how much drama is built in to the lives of traditional college students. It’s better than, say, Jersey Shore or the Hills. I was actually privy to some information that included the words that “[someone] was sleeping with [someone else] who [that someone] wasn’t even dating.” And better yet, the relationship between those two was so … tacitly unbreachable? I know this isn’t Sabbath-appropriate content, but the cognitive dissonance made me drool. It was so absurd yet plausible. I didn’t quite know how to react, so I didn’t do anything. Oh, I also played a game of Scum with them after we got home. That seems apropos to this context.

Find lost things. Your own personal parable of the lost sheep, right? I’ve been looking for a certain pair of hiking shorts for over a week. Between blasting Respighi and Scum, I found my shorts, and then I immediately removed the skirt I was wearing and put the shorts on. I may never remove them.

Read uplifting stuff. After playing Scum with the roommates, I took Lectures on Faith outside to a bench and read for an hour. This is mostly because they blast the air conditioning in my apartment, and the temperature is quite pleasant in the shade even when it’s 98 degrees outside. I also took my iPod and streamed a short classical music playlist as I read. I would have read for longer, but the sprinklers came on. I usually don’t bring books into the shower, and this was a lot like that scenario.

Attend praying functions. They affectionately call it “ward stare.” We socialize a bit, we sing, we become edified, we pray. Some people flirt. Par for the course. I was able to opine on my R-rated movie watching policy to someone there. Which was neat. In the corner of my eye I saw a guy sitting alone to my left seeming to fidget with his phone. I couldn’t tell whether he was waiting to talk to me or was truly flying solo, because he’s a very popular guy, always talking to somebody, always with a girl at either elbow. Regardless, I wasn’t going for it.

Oompa Loompas. After I prayed with my ward, I jumped in a friend’s car to watch her sister’s apartment introduce themselves to their ward. They dressed in muumuus and performed the Oompa Loompa dance from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was pretty brilliant, as I hadn’t really ever seen anything quite like it. Their ward received the show very well, and I don’t think they’ll have a problem remembering who those girls are.  The singing and praying were nice, too.

Leftovers. Having food you may not have to cook is an important part of May’s Mormon Sabbath. I like to minimize physical labor. I didn’t have to cook the pancakes from earlier. Eating is one of my most refined skills. And actual cooking  is not a normal Sunday activity for me. But if heating up some rice is all one has to do to eat with leftover Thai curry, that’s fine.

Cookies make a meal. I ate one.

Have friends inadvertently call you boring. It puts things in perspective. And it makes them laugh. I really like it when my friends laugh.

Because my Sabbath was so relaxing, I stayed relatively calm when I discovered I lost the memory card with all my footage of Chicken and Pig.

Today, however, I sort of feel like weeping.

I guess that’s next week’s lost sheep.

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