This Labour Day weekend is a kind of special anniversary for me. 25 years ago, on the Sunday just before Labour Day, I was at church in Burnaby BC. I’d done the first year of my MBA at UBC, gone home to Yellowknife for the summer, and then returned to the Vancouver area. Our church often creates congregations specifically for “young single adults” (18-30), and that was the congregation I attended.
I’d said Hi to friends from the previous year, all that kind of thing, and then it was time for the meeting to start. For those of you who aren’t Mormons, I’ll tell you about the church meetings we usually have on the first Sunday of each month. Most Sundays, in between the hymns and the announcements and the administration of the Sacrament (think “communion” or “Eucharist”), two or three members will speak after having been assigned to do so by the bishop of the congregation or one of his counsellors. But on the first Sunday, there are no assigned speakers; anyone who wants to can get up to the pulpit and speak for a few minutes about their faith in Christ or whatever. We call that “bearing your testimony”. Also, on those first Sundays, we fast by skipping two meals (usually breakfast and lunch), then taking the money we saved (or more) and donating it to be used to help people who need food or other help. So those first-Sunday meetings are often called “Fast and Testimony Meetings”.
Anyhow, of course, the day before Labour Day is almost always the day for a Fast and Testimony Meeting. (Unless, of course, the first Sunday in September is September 1st.) So I’m sitting there in church, watching different people get up and speak.
And then this cute blonde girl gets up to speak, and I perk up, because a) I hadn’t seen her before in that congregation, and b) she was pretty cute, eh? She talked about how she just finished serving a mission for the church, which explained why she hadn’t been there in BC last year. And I thought “Hmmm … I need to go say Hi to her afterwards.”
So I did. And we talked for I-don’t-know-how-long. And we started dating. And we started talking about getting married … which we finally did about a year and half after we met (May 9, 1992).
Yesterday, of course, was another fast and testimony meetings. And we just moved from Coquitlam to Burnaby (one suburb closer to the city of Vancouver proper), so we’re now part of the Burnaby ward (our congregations are usually called “wards”, like what you call different parts of a city). So we were in the very same building where we met 25 years previously. And I got up and shared how I know God loves me, because he put this wonderful woman in my path so she could become part of my life. And she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. (Now, I know I’m not the best thing that ever happened to her, necessarily … but I’m working on it.)
So Happy Anniversary, Linn-Marie! Love you so much!