Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Long Absence, Short Summer

Wow. I didn't realize just how long it has been since I made a blog entry.

And what has been the distraction? Summer vacation. All three kids home, with one going off to college next week. I'm crying about it already.

Many summers have seemed rather long. This one, however, has seemed short. We went on several vacations, including Swan Valley and Yellowstone, our parents' cabin in Beaver, Utah, a trip up the coast to Portland and Seattle, and, lastly, a trip to Mississippi and New Orleans.

Lest it sound like we've suddenly struck it rich, we drove up the coast and back (yes, all five of us). And, just my oldest and I went to Mississippi, with the flight paid and a home to stay in. That was because I spoke at an LDS single adult conference.

I did four workshops at the YSA conference in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It was basically the same message, repeated for four different groups of attendees. My daughter attended three of my sessions and was a great support. I spoke about my life, my experiences with SSA, the LDS Church, addictions, judgmental people, etc.

I'm happy to report the message was well received. I am particularly grateful because two people, one man and one woman, with same-sex attractions came up to talk to me afterward. They had great questions and were so grateful to have had the topic addressed. Others commented on how I had helped them gain a greater understanding of themselves and others.

That made the whole trip worth it. Not to mention a great talk about conversion by ex-NBA/Utah Jazz player Thurl Bailey, and dinner with him and others at Leatha's, which had some of the best barbecue and cole slaw I've ever tasted. The Southern hospitality, and the Southern food, was great.

I just want to bear witness that somehow helping people, in some small way, makes everything worth it. I know this gospel is true and that it works miracles in people's lives. I certainly know it has in mine.