Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Pros: Ashley & Jeffrey

Ladies, fairy tales really do exist

And here is a love story to prove it:

Our love story: Once upon a time, me and Jeffrey met at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. We were both freshman and somehow signed up for the same Sociology, Ethics, and institute class. Talk about divine intervention. I think Heavenly Father wanted us to definitely notice each other.

Well, when we first met, I did not want to date someone seriously. I had just moved out of my parents house and could date without having my parents wait up for me. I finally felt like I had some freedom, and take advantage of it, I did. Jeffrey and I hung out a lot. That's what happens when you have 3classes together. It's more fun to do homework and studying with someone else, and when you can get two classes done at once, all the better. Also, the Mormon population at Westminster is very small. There are only about 250 people enrolled in institute, so you get to know each other very well. And we all were in the same ward. This made seeing Jeffrey even more inevitable. He was at every activity, every fireside, everything.

I knew Jeffrey liked me, but I just avoided being alone with him. I made sure he knew I wasn't looking for a relationship and hoped he got the hint. He didn't. And I'm really bad at not showing my feelings. I was lying to myself the whole time. I knew in my heart I had more than a little friendly crush on this amazing, smart, quiet kid from New Mexico. He became my best friend. He helped me realize my potential as a woman in the church. He really helped me learn that I deserve a lot more than I thought as a daughter of God. It was around Thanksgiving when we both went home to realize that I actually did miss him and really like him.

There was still a minor problem; he was going on a mission. My mom waited for my dad and I had heard stories about how hard it was my whole life. I knew that is not something I wanted to do, and besides I didn't really even think I wanted to get married. I wanted to have a successful career. So even though I was starting to come through and tell myself the truth, I still didn't want to date him and I tried to make that clear, but his kid was so persistent! Well, one night, he just kissed me. I was so shocked and didn't expect it at all. I didn't know how to respond. It still took me a month that included Christmas Break in order for me to stop lying to myself and decide that I did want to date this boy.

So, we started dating in early January. It was great, we were so happy together. It was just like before. We were best friends, but we were on the same page emotionally. I don't remember any arguments that we ever had, I just was a little selfish and told him that I definitely wasn't waiting for him, I just wouldn't put myself through that. We kept dating and had such a good time. We went on so many fun dates, seeing old, homeless men play the cello while singing the National Anthem, Temple Square, the park, and so many other good memories. I just had one problem: I was falling for him, and falling hard. I didn't want to say goodbye and his mission call was looming ever so quickly.

His mission call came and I was so happy for him. He got called to the Chile, Concepcion mission. He was leaving June 8, 2011. That meant that we only have a few short months together. We hadn't really discussed the waiting thing since we first started dating, and I wanted to be completely happy for him, but there was a part of me that didn't want him to leave. I knew I had to be a good girlfriend and support him in doing the right thing. He had been a great missionary to me. He brought me to an understanding of the atonement and motivated me to be better. I knew that he would be a great missionary and really help a lot of people and families. I put on my happy face and did my best to support him. We started studying Preach My Gospel together and attended any institute classes that we could together. We finally had a talk about the whole waiting thing. I only made one promise; I wouldn't be engaged by the time he got back.

Then May came. School was over and he was going back to Albuquerque to hang out with his family for a month before leaving on his mission, and I was moving back to Logan for the summer. That was the hardest month of our relationship. We went from being together all day everyday to only being able to communicate over the phone. His family decided to spend a week in Salt Lake before he went to the MTC, and invited me to tag along in their adventures. I was so grateful for the opportunity to see him one last week before being gone for two whole years.

Jeffrey's mission was an adventure for both of us. We both learned a lot about who we are and what we want in life. We grew as individuals, but have been able to use that in our relationship together. I'm so happy that I decided to wait for this amazing man. I feel so incredibly lucky to have found love at such a young age. I can't wait for the rest of our lives to start!

How long were you dating before he left:6.5 months

Did you date or hard core wait: I dated for about 6 months between his 6months-1 year mark. I just always prayed to know what to do and that is the answer I received. Sometimes it was to date and sometimes it wasn't. Dating isn't for everyone, but I learned so much about myself and who I am as an individual a part from my relationship with Jeffrey. And that's why it was a good choice for me.

How did you stay busy: I worked a lot. I went to school and not just a few credits I took a completely full schedule so I didn't have any time. I hung out with my roommates and friends. I got involved with my YSA ward and tried new things. I got into running and started new hobbies.

Best thing an mg can do: Live life for yourself. Be you. Having a missionary is really fun and can be a great experience, but make sure you are having fun too.

Worst thing an mg can do: Hide away for the two years he is gone. Don't put your life on hold. You won't progress and it will be harder for you to have a relationship with your RM.

Biggest piece of advice: Grow in every way possible. Spiritually, physically, through your education. Hone any skills you think you will need later in life. For example I learned how to cook and how to be a better wife. Because I am terrible at being all cutesy and home makerish so I really tried to help that.

What was it like when he came home: It was a strange experience. You get so excited to see them come home. You have waited what seems like your whole life for this one moment. And he was awkward. My situation was a little different. He flew home to Florida and I was still in Utah. We spent a week just using video calls. But when he moved back to Utah he was so awkward. We established that we were an exclusive couple, but he wasn't used to holding my hand or anything to do with a girl but talk to me anymore. I gave him some time and he came around and even kissed me that first day. But give them time and space and let them get comfortable before you get mad at them.

What are you doing now: We are getting married!! We got engaged just last week and our wedding date is Oct. 10! Feel free to follow up on our blog. I am committing myself to being better about updating it!

Looking back what was your favorite memory you two shared: Writing letters was so romantic to him and checking up every week was quite fun for me. I also loved the packages. That is something I miss and will still write him a love letter every once in a while to feel nostalgic. 

I hope this helps you! Being an MG was so fun, but honestly having them home is SO much better!

1 comment:

  1. this is adorable (: Thanks for sharing this inspiring story!