Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Kind of Mormon

It's been two and a half weeks since I applied for my dream job.  I followed up my initial application at the two week mark, and got the dreaded autoreply:  "Don't call us, we'll call you."  They actually say it more like, "We've got a shit ton of applications and we're weeding through them.  We'll be contacting suitable applicants for interviews over the next two weeks."  It still makes you feel like dirt, because if they were interested, wouldn't they have already emailed you?  And I've worked damn hard to make myself into a top candidate over the last few years, so they should have emailed me.

This is not to say it won't happen.  I still feel like it will - after all, I begged and pleaded in prayer for pretty much this exact job, so it's destiny, right?  (Of course, after my last botched attempt at a relationship - many moons ago with a French guy I was once stuck in Beijing airport with - for a while I still felt like somehow that might work out, too).  But faith is a funny thing.  It's not logical, which is fine, since sometimes logic turns out to be completely wrong.

I've been trying to be a better Mormon girl lately.  And by lately, I mean since July or so, because the last few weeks I've missed church for one reason or another, which I guess is ironic...that someone who pins her hopes of getting shortlisted on an all-powerful being's favor (at least a little - after everything I could do on my own, that's all you can do, right?) would allow herself to miss an opportunity to show obedience to that Being's commandments because of snow, or her stomach, or a kind of lame Japanese culture thing.  This week, though, I was scheduled to teach the English speaking Sunday school.  I was not thrilled about this assignment.  I don't have kids, after all - why should I have to teach other people's brats*?  After all, teaching is my job and the sabbath is supposed to be a day of rest.  However, there's also this thing in Mormon doctrine where you're supposed to help lift one another's burdens, and this isn't the sort of thing to which you say no, at least without a reason that does not sound like, "BUT I DON'T WANNA CLEAN MY ROOM!"  So I printed off the lesson and went to church.

On the way to the bus stop, I slipped for the first time this winter.  It hurt like hell and I probably dropped the f-bomb.  Maybe more than once.  Not an auspicious start.  Once I was on the bus I was stuck in traffic for the longest time.  I have no idea why there was traffic that far up in Zaisan at 11:30 on a Sunday morning; maybe Engrish will be able to tell me, if she was running up here this morning.  Either way, I did make it, and during the first part of church I mentally prepared myself for the ordeal of teaching primary. Except, when I went to teach, it seemed that all of the expats had left.  The room was empty, all the kids were gone, and I couldn't find any of the adults.  And even though I didn't actually want to teach them, I was a little peeved that they were all gone, because I was looking forward to the blessings that Mormons believe come from keeping the commandments (an attitude that I have in common with widowed prophet's wives from church history, if anyone is thinking I'm hypocritical).

The truth is, I'm not actually very good at being Mormon.  The screaming child behind me doesn't make my ovaries explode with envy that the woman behind me is a mother and I'm not.  And although getting married is supposed to be the second most important decision we can make in life (right behind baptism at #1), I'm honestly not that fussed about it anymore.  I'm not trading my independence for anyone but the most awesome guy ever at this point.  If that makes me apostate, then so be it.  I'll just have to settle for a lesser degree of glory in the afterlife.  But the thing is, I haven't given up.  You can call me crazy for believing what I do.  Maybe I am, but in spite of the disappointments I've felt and the fact that I no longer "fit" in the church as well as I did 20 years ago, I still buy it.  So I still believe I'm going to hear back from the dream job.  If God can manage the things he did in the scriptures, he can manage me.  And if not, that will be okay, too.

*I mean it affectionately.  (Or I do when I'm talking about my actual students....)