I made a long and solitary drive this morning north to my work site in Colville, through the morning fog and occasional showers. Winter snow is still visible in nearby mountain tops, but the morning drizzle brings a message from the coming spring, though I have a feeling the border between winter and spring this year will be hazy at best, with no clear way to differentiate winter rains from the proverbial spring showers.
When I arrive at the community college in Colville, I park in the faculty lot across the street and take a moment to remember the LDS Church just a stone's throw away. I find a certain amount of irony that I'm now working across the street from a place with so many memories from my past. When I was still in high school, my father lived in Kettle Falls, only 8 miles north of Colville, and on Sundays I used to catch a ride into town and attend services in the Colville Ward. The people were so amazing and friendly. I have so many warm memories of that place.
My father never really appreciated my membership in the LDS Church. He used to ridicule me brutally, and somehow confused Mormonism from something out of the Holy Roller movement. If he would have ever attended he would have seen Mormons share very little in common with anything remotely Pentocostal. I would characterize "Holy Rollers" as the rock stars of Christendom, and Mormons as the librarians. Of course, my father never let reality deflate his one man comedy act. I'd come home on Sunday from attending LDS services and the jokes would start, peppered with shouts of "Hallelujah!" and fervent hand-waving.
I think most of my family regarded my membership in the LDS Church as some kind of joke, until I announced after 6 years that I was going to serve a full-time mission. When I left for Guatemala, my family's attitude shifted dramatically. It was like they finally said, "Wow. He was serious about this religion thing." After that, my father befriended the missionaries and developed a whole new respect for me as his son. My mission changed the way my family views me.