I went to the University of Maryland, College Park.  We had a pretty healthy Institute and YSA branch.  It was a five minute walk from my dorm; if my dorm had been a taller building and my room on a higher floor I could have seen it from my window.  I attended a few times but the strangeness overwhelmed me.  Some if it is my fault, I know.  I should have tried harder and gone to more activities.  However it was those activities that scared me.  I knew no one.  I didn’t know how to change that.  Even after the blessing that had been high school (transferred to a different district and made a solid group of friends in the band), walking into a room full of strangers still made me feel like prey.  So I quickly became inactive.

Not that I recognized it at the time.  Anytime I was home for the weekend I went to church with my family.  I still counted myself as Mormon; I still thought about Mormon things.  I still said my prayers and read the scriptures.  I just didn’t go to church.

I’m not blaming anyone for this.  I think it some ways it was a natural path for me to take at that time, as I sifted through and examined what I truly believed and felt and what was just habit.  However, I keep wondering about what might have happened, how my life might have gone differently, if I’d had regular Home and Visiting Teachers then.  It’s entirely possible I would have wandered away anyway.  On the other hand, I’m always so grateful when someone is friendly to me; if I had seen more of them, would I have attached to my teachers?  Would that connection have been enough to help me ease into the ward there?  I’ll never know.

That’s why, as introverted as I am and hating new situations as much as I do, I try to do my Visit Teaching.  I make no claims of ability here; to be honest, I’m very bad at it and rarely get it done.  But I want to get it done.  I myself, in the ward I’m living in now, though I’m active again and even teaching in Primary, haven’t seen a Visiting Teacher for two years.  For two years, as I waited out Immigration and then began the struggle to find employment, I have rotted in my basement, alone, bored and unable to afford anything else.  So I try and make the effort to Visit Teach because I don’t want to leave anyone else feeling like this.