Long-time readers know that “Out and About” stories come in all shapes and sizes with random topics. Some have been about serious life-defining events, while others have drawn humor from recent mishaps.
As I brainstormed for a topic, I thought about marriage-related happenings since I got married on June 5 and coming to terms with having girlie magnets on my refrigerator and other feminine touches to what was once my bachelor pad.
But by the time this piece is published, I’ll be on my honeymoon in Scotland without a care in the world as to how these words appear.
And really, Scotland may be the reason why I write any words at all for the Transcript Bulletin.
It’s not much of a secret that I served a church mission in that mystical place. Out of high school, which is when most missionaries of my faith leave for their missions, I wasn’t sure when that service would start. I didn’t want to go to college for just a semester and elected to work a summer job to help pay for the costs.
As it turned out, my assignment came later than I anticipated, meaning I would have been able to attend school for a full school year. I was disappointed that I missed out on a head start in my higher education.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is lead by a body of 15 men called apostles. Recently deceased L. Tom Perry was the apostle in charge of missionary work at the time. In the months leading up to one of the church’s semi-annual broadcasted general conferences, I questioned whether or not I should attend Utah State University as I had planned since I was young.
Hoping to receive an answer to that unconscious prayer, I remember thinking I should pay special attention to Elder Perry’s conference talk, since he was designated to direct the very work I was carrying out. As he began, I remembered he was from Logan, Utah, where the main campus of Utah State University is located. As I processed that thought, he began to speak about temples and showed a photograph of the Logan Temple. I took it as a sign and solidified my plan to be an Aggie.
Keep reading: I have a point.
A year or so later when I stepped foot on USU’s campus, I had no idea what major I wanted to pursue. I eventually decided on journalism and joined the newsroom staff at The Utah Statesman, the school’s student newspaper.
That experience eventually helped me find employment at the Transcript Bulletin, and only after my first week or so, I found out that Publisher Emeritus Joel Dunn had previously served as mission president for the Scotland mission — though it was well before my time.
I thought that coincidence was interesting enough, but the significance my mission service has had on my life goes even deeper. You see, my new bride worked as the editor-in-chief of the Statesman the school year before I started work there. We agree that 2010 Arie and 2010 Tavin would probably not have had many romantic opportunities and maybe wouldn’t have even liked each other.
Had I forgone my mission service, it’s likely Arie and I wouldn’t be married at all, nor would we be enjoying each other’s company in Scotland by the time these words have been published.
Whether or not you believe in fate or coincidence or whatever else, I find it interesting how my decision to proselyte in Scotland for two years impacted my life both in my career and personal life.
Stucki is the Transcript Bulletin’s sports editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.