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  1. I’ve been homesick for Utah and Idaho: the mountains, the friendly people who smile at me, BYU’s familiarity, the climate, and—I can’t believe this—I even miss the Mormon bubble I used to whine about and talk of reforming. I’ve been homesick for people: my Momzie and Dad, my sisters, and my in-laws. I cried repeatedly in church yesterday thinking about my homesickness. I wanted to walk out of the chapel and leave altogether, but I did not. I made it through all three meetings without walking out. (And that’s a long time.) I looked at my lap, at my feet, played with my hands, sniffed, tried to find a Kleenex. I did not find a Kleenex and—wishing I had worn a sweater over my short sleeve dress (or anything with more fabric)—wiped my nose with my hand. I snuggled up to Waldir, gave him a kiss, and then—suddenly aware of the people around me—thought maybe I should be less snuggly for the moment.
  2. And so, lately as I pray, feeling homesick, I feel extra vulnerable, extra humble, extra child-like. This state of emotional being has its perks: I feel extra close to my Father God because I—like a child—kneel down to pray and ask to feel His arms around me. What’s better than feeling extra close to God?
  3. I think about how upheaved I’ve felt the past few days and then wonder how I would have done this—the east-coast move—without Waldir. Before we got married I promised myself I wouldn’t gush over him on social media. I’ve been doing a good job, but I have to say: I want to gush all over the place about Waldir.
  4. And, I realize as I write this, I’ve probably been emotional lately because Waldir’s been working evening shifts, and I miss him.
  5. But Boston. We love Boston. But then, I feel weary here, sitting inside my apartment, listening to ever-flowing traffic outside. The cars and the (much louder) buses go all night. I hear people talk as they walk by our apartment windows. We’re right on the street, situated beside the Dunkin’ Donuts on one corner and the gas station on the other. The noise! I don’t feel like there’s a place I can go to rest except the temple. There’s not a home base to go and get away from people. Of course I love Boston, and people. I simply want to get away for a few minutes and hear nothing. I could sleep with earplugs but I’d prefer not to have to do that. I did once, last week, and still woke up in the early hours of the morning.
  6. The house in which we live is old. Its sewer pipe has been broken and flooding the basement of our apartment with water. Two men from Nicaragua live down there. They kept dealing with this water flooding the bathroom. Eventually the landlords realized what had happened. Finally, four days ago, the city got to work and found the broken pipe. They finished mending the problem morning. Waldir and me, our Nicaraguan friends downstairs, and the five guys that live on the floor above us had a not-so-pleasant weekend without water: no flushing of toilets, no showering, no shaving, no washing of hands, not much cooking—you get it. I don’t wish to repeat this no-water lifestyle, but it did increase my gratitude as I reflected on the miracle of life’s sustaining resource, the most precious resource we’ve got, and the privilege to live in a country where clean water comes for granted.
  7. Someday I hope to help people who need water, people living in countries less fortunate than mine, immigrants and refugees who just need a chance to make it. Meanwhile I live in my comfortable bubble and mourn the suffering of others. Waldir and I remind each other that Jesus Christ will make all of this right someday—restore and give perfect life to children of God everywhere, the human family. In the meantime, we pray and work and try to relieve some sliver of suffering in the world. We don’t know where to start. We start with each other.
  8. During HDS orientation, Kerry Maloney, the school’s chaplain, ended one of the meetings with a moment of silence and then left us with the following words: “May we relieve some of the great suffering in the world. That’s what we’re all here to do.” I want to remember that the next two years while I’m at the academy, and afterward. This is why I’m at divinity school.
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