Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm a Tennessee Mormon

So, we're moving back to Utah.
I am experiencing a full spectrum of emotions.
I am sad yet happy.
I am depressed yet hopeful.
I am relieved yet stressed.
I am excited yet contemplative.
I have been planning and organizing yet reflecting and pondering.
No wonder why I just want to stay in bed all day.
My mind and body are exhausted, and I haven't even started cleaning or packing.

We love our home in Knoxville, Tennessee.
We especially love being members of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
in Tennessee.

Our fellow church members are close-knit.
It becomes cliche,
but we really are
One great big family.

We have to stick together.
As we are attacked on all sides.
The other inhabitants of
The Bible belt
actually believe all kinds of falsehoods
about us.
we are very much a refuge
for one another.

We know we are not polygamists.
We know we are not a cult.
But most of all
we know

In fact,
if you ever visit
a meetinghouse
on the first Sunday of the month,
you will hear
some of the sweetest
Jesus Christ.

you may be surprised
that these
awe inspiring
words and feelings
come from
the Mormons
in the Bible belt.

They will bear testimony
of their love of the Bible.
They will testify of
the Savior of the world,
Jesus Christ.
They will talk about
their love for fellow man
Christian and non-Christian alike.
They will also talk about their love
for one another.
And the support
they receive from one another
in their goals
of living
Christ centered lives.

thinking about leaving
our home of
eight years
is very
heart wrenching.

It is here
where people
have planned
"it's great to be 8"
just for our daughter
and her best friend.
As they were the only
kids in the congregation
looking forward to
that momentous
in the same year.
The year they are old
enough to accept baptism.
And take upon them the
name of Christ.

It is here
that we are
always kind of surprised
but absolutely joyful
when we run into
another member
of our church
while shopping.

It is here
where our kids
were sometimes
the ONLY
in their whole school.
And sometimes
the only Mormon
that people had
ever met in their life.

It is here
that we
as a church family
and as a family family
stood strong
of all sorts.

And I now know that I
am going back to another place that I love.
But in that place it is pretty sheltered.
I worry about my kids
understanding the actual world.

I have to admit that when I think
about the fact that
I will only have two
people from church to check in on
instead of 6 on a monthly basis,
I am a little relieved.

I am downright ecstatic that I will
never have to wake up my teenage
aughters at 5 am
for their 6 am Bible study
before school.
In Utah's highschools
they have this thing called release time
where the kids get to cross the street
during a period of the day and
study scripture
at the LDS church across the street.

I may never feel like the people at church
are really family,
as most of them actually
are surrounded by real biological family,
but I will also know
that I have a very vast support system,
even if they aren't as close to me.

The news coverage
may all be
from a Mormon's
but I will also get news that
I want to hear about,
that I can't get here.
I will get to walk into
Mormon bookstores
instead of Baptist ones.
And buying my kids
a modest baptism dress
or a CTR ring won't be an ordeal.

In Utah there aren't any
Vol fans,
riding mowers,
smoky hills,
Southern Storms.

I will
miss them all.
(well maybe not the humidity)

But I will appreciate the things
that Utah does have
that Tennessee doesn't.

caselot sales,
rocky mountains,
smooth gardening soil,
great camping weather.

I am sappy lately.
I am gonna miss being different.
It's gonna be hard to go back to
a place where I am just
like everybody else.

O.k not just like everybody else.
Cause let's face it.
I'm an original.
I don't totally fit in anywhere I go.
And I prefer it that way.

I am also gonna miss my
mother-in-law and my sister.
A lot.
My mother in law, Faye, is the world's best babysitter.
and one of my best friends.
And Shannon, my sister, is my best cheerleader.
My entire life she has watched out for me.

Thank goodness for
cell phones,
unlimited long distance,
wait for it

God knew I couldn't leave
without having those.


Mrs. Billen said...

you can't leave us!

Rita said...

Today is one of those days when it's hard to comment...the thought of the Golds leaving makes me very choked up. Selfishly, I am very sad.

That being said, I hope you know that I am beyond happy for you and your new, exciting adventure. God has opened a door and of course to have to go through it. I am grateful to have had the past several years to get to know you and will always consider you and your amazing family part of our extended family.

And like you, boy am I thankful for the modern technology that makes it just a bit easier to stay connected! :)

Love you!

Lori said...

Is it final? Is it official? When? I'm like Rita, selfishly there's no way I want you all the way across the country. But I'm so excited that LG landed the job! and you'll still visit east TN, right? We may still see you just as often actually, between your trips here and our trips there. :)

P.S. I laughed out loud when I read the line about being like everyone else. HA!

Sharlene, Mom, Grammy said...

Wow! Huge, huge things going on in your life. I don't even see you (as you live far from me in TN), but I will miss you, too. :)

So I'll talk to Lori and find out "where" in Utah and what the job is. I know you'll grow to love it, because you do just that---you love where you are planted.

I could relate so well to everything you said about living here or there. Personally, I think it's *great* here or there. Both have their own unique things to offer. And California will always, always have a warm spot in my heart. I could even go back to living there. :)

Best wishes and good luck with everything!

Nicole said...

Tennessee is going to miss you because you are an original, but I was wondering can I come and stay with you for a visit? We have always wanted to see Utah, but having a friend there would make it even nicer. I cant wait to read your Utah post. :-)

Lindsey Rose said...

I started crying when i read this, we really will miss you!

cally said...

I don't want to talk about it.

ShEiLa said...

I guess I am happy (you will be closer to me) but I noticed Cally is not talking about it... so I feel bad for her and all of the others that you have grown so close to. This has to be extra hard. Hugs to your whole family.


Bunch of Brooks' said...

I am so excited to hear that you're moving to Utah! Although you guys will still be a day-long car trip away, atleast it's better than a 3 day-long car trip:) We'll have to hook up one of these days in the middle or you can bring your family to the Grand Canyon and refresh their memories:) Happy Packing!!

Spencer said...

Remember us??? We would love nothing better than to have the Gold Family back in the ward! Do you have a home lined up, because there are several for sale right now in the Sunset Heights 2nd Ward!
Christy Luque

Marilyn said...

We will miss you. It is great to be a TN Mormon! Thanks for the reminders. Good luck to you. Faye brought us a bag of baby clothes--lots of white, fresh onesies. Just what we need--the ones that started with Eliza can finally be retired! You are such a breath of fresh air in so many ways. Visit often. Love, Marilyn

Dorry said...

I am sad you are leaving for many reasons but the main one you hit a bit in your entry. You will not be around to shed light on your faith to those of us whose lives you have touched who are not Mormons. Your life has been a reflection of His love. You have shown me so much more about devotion, giving and serving than many other faiths/denominations( not sure what the pc word is here). I am thankful for our friendship for putting a face on being Mormon.

I guess my dream of being neighbors having coffee on the porch after we send our kids off to school is officially a dream that can't come true. boohoo.......

Jeremy was SHOCKED when I told him you guys were moving.

Jere said we will have to take a trip to Utah now. So I hope you guys are as good at hospitality as you are all the other gifts of the spirit!

I Love you! I will miss you like crazy!

Angela said...

Welcome back! Which city?

Susie-Q said...

Hey There Alice. I know it has been a while, but I still think of our time in Orem fondly. We are in GA now and like you, love the South. Eventually, we too will end up back in Utah and I will cry (a lot). Good luck with everything and take care of that beautiful family of yours!! Know that you will be loved wherever you may be.

Nadelie said...

Wow! Back to Mormon-land for the Golds?!?! Good luck. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors and hope you all cope well with the move.

Lovable Lies Family said...

Didn't you get the memo NOT allowed to leave!

Holly said...

Love the post. You are such a strong woman and one that admire more than words could ever express. You will be missed here in TN but how lucky are the people of Utah to have you.

Holly said...

Love the post. You are such a strong woman and one that admire more than words could ever express. You will be missed here in TN but how lucky are the people of Utah to have you.