December 16, 2010. -- I get the typical farewell interview. Thank you for your service, bearing of testimony, and of course, the mention of what my next goal should be. But take the time and find the right girl, my mission president told me in the soft-spoken way he has.
December 22 -- I arrive back home -- long story. I hit the ground running.
December 28 -- breakfast date with my friend Beth. I’d corresponded regularly, if platonically, with her over the last two years.
My parents, who hadn’t been happy with my choice to go on a mission, welcomed me back with love and joy. My mom said that I seemed like a calmer, more mature person than when I left two years ago.
December 30 -- flew back to Stanford.
First week back: met the elders’ quorum president in the Stanford ward, who had already Facebook friended me. Was called in by the bishop and extended a calling as the FHE co-chair. Wrote up a set of goals – reading my scriptures, going to church, doing my home teaching. “KIPs for a Post-Mission Life,” I called it. Stuck it up right next to my bed. (Yeah, a bit full of myself.)
A bunk bed, in an apartment I shared with two other members of my posse from my pre-mission days.
Life wasn’t perfect, but it was familiar. Date, check. KIPs, check. Friends and familiar faces, check. I even went “finding” at a multi-stake New Years’ Eve party. (successfully -- met a girl there who I went on a couple dates later)
Next week, Friday. January 7, 2011.
Normally on Stanford campus, we have Friday Forum, kind of a social hour with lunch for the LDS students on campus. My first Friday back, I wasn’t sure where it was, so I called my friend Jenn who I had known before leaving. “It’s cancelled this week,” Jenn told me. “Oh,” I replied. “Umm…want to grab lunch then?”
Two Fridays later, we at one of those artsy place where you paint glaze on ceramics, and then they fire them up for you. I had carefully selected the location for a fun, joint activity. In her car on the way home, I asked her nervously if she wanted to be boyfriend/girlfriend, in something like those terms.
“I would like that,” she said, slowly, thoughtfully.
I wasn’t sure how to ask her, and I don’t think she was quite sure how to respond, but it still seemed to work out reasonably well.
It was Jan 21 - a month, minus a day, since I had gotten back.
Not even a whole transfer.