Normally, if the social climate had been more ideal, I would have disobeyed them and kept going to the Institute and its FHEs.
However, as the social climate there hasn't been that rosy lately, I thought their order couldn't have been better-timed.
If it hadn't have been for that order, I would've kept going and tried any way I could find to mend the rifts with certain members there. (I'm a trial-and-error kind of guy; if one method doesn't work, I usually keep trying new and untried ones until every possible option runs out.)
But now that my family has told me to start attending a new church, I guess that won't happen now; apparently I'll "leave it be" with the LDS members this time.
If anyone wonders where I'll be, my new church is University Christian Church, just about 5 minutes down the street from the Family Ward. (And 3 minutes down the street from the Institute.) This wonderful gentlemen Kit Carson here reintroduced me to this church, which accommodates night owls like myself by holding contemporary 5 PM services on Saturday evenings. (Their other contemporary times are 9:45 and 11:15 the next day.)
President Wangsgaard left me messages; was unsure how to respond.
He called me at 11:53 AM on the 9th, and 2:01 PM the next day. I wasn't yet sure how I was going to break this news to him so I pressed the "Pass up Call" button (otherwise known as the red "End Call" in other contexts.)
His voicemail on the 9th was: "(Egao), good morning. This is Brother Wangsgaard calling. I wanted to call first to remind you of the satellite broadcast from Salt Lake City tomorrow at 7:00 at the Marlatt building for all young single adults. I look forward to seeing you there. I would also like a chance to visit together and see how things are going for you and how I can be of help to you, so if you could call me back please at 785-3##-3### and arrange a time to visit. Thanks so much. Have a good day."
And this was his message on the 10th: "(Egao), this is Brother Wangsgaard calling. I wanted to remind you of the Fireside broadcast this evening at 7:00 at the Marlatt building. Elder Neely Anderson, one of our newest apostles, will be speaking. I wanted to also visit if we could for a little bit. Could you please give me a call at 785-3##-3###? Thanks."
I wasn't trying to be rude; I just didn't know how to convey this to him (in way that I wanted and/or sounded best.) I wasn't sure what he was going to talk about either, but it may have involved being at Institute again.
I'm still willing to come back if only the following happens:
(At first, I thought of naming just their first names, but decided that there are other ways to hint at who they are on this public note.)
I'm only willing to disregard my family's orders and come back to Institute if:
- The member from Wichita who admitted to having anger issues, and has a significant other on a Service Mission until February, decides to forgive and reconcile with me.
- The former Army enlistee from Missouri who works at Copy Co. and drives a red GMC truck adds me back to their friends list here on Facebook.
#1 once mentioned that I did "things to scare them," though I wouldn't know what. I'm sure the scariness of whatever those actions were not intentional, and had I known in advance that they would be scary, I wouldn't have done them in the first place. I can also bet that the same actions that "scared" this member wouldn't faze the other members, so this is one more reason why I've felt like I must walk on eggshells for them. They didn't clarify what those actions were. I did attempt to apologize for the actions which I didn't know about, but they were too hardened and callous to accept the apology. (It didn't make them feel better in any way. After all, they did admit to having anger issues.)
(On a side-note, because of a pre-existing social condition that I admitted to in 12 parts this last July (find it yourself), some of the ways I interact with others may be unconventional; let's put it that way. Regarding anything that alienates anyone, they're unintentional over 95% of the time. #1 knew I had this condition for a long time, but wouldn't consider that a mitigating factor here.)
When I asked for #2 to help me mend the rift with #1, instead of being a sibling in Christ who helps each other pull out of emotional hardships, they decided to hurt me even more by betraying me in the way that I described. I thought siblings in Christ generally look out for one another and help each other with issues especially from within the church.
In retrospect though, I had a gut-feeling that I should've enlisted Charles's help instead. It was a toss-up for a little bit, but I chose #2 because I've been friends with them longer. However, Charles is a returned missionary, so he would've been the more ideal choice after all.
By the way, wouldn't a true Mormon forgive and reconcile with one another; observe ALL of the following verses in this link? If they don't, then this is not the kind of church I thought it was.
Happiness at churches
The only way I'll be happy at Institute again is if those relations get mended. There's no way I can be without that happening.
However, I expect those two requests to be tall orders, so this last plea is pretty likely to go unfulfilled, therefore I see myself continuing going to my new church.
The Missionaries and the rest of my LDS friends
Fortunately, my family didn't tell me not to associate with any Mormons any longer, so I can meet my LDS friends anywhere other than the Institute and Family Ward properties themselves. Meeting at bistros, ice rinks, and other places are fine.
Also, they can come visit my apartment if they wish. Even the missionaries can if they want, but no one should ask me to re-attend Institute until those two requests get fulfilled.
I'm still willing to be friends with Mormons because they're people like everyone else, and are often quite pleasant to be around. I've also learned to embrace diversity at K-State, so even if religious beliefs aren't compatible (any longer), we can still associate with one another for other reasons.