When I was about 16 years old I made my first trip to Utah. Natalie and I flew out here alone for a week at a summer camp at BYU together. A shuttle bus picked us up at the airport and drove us down to Provo. I can still remember watching in wide-eyed amazement at the number of LDS Chapels I could see from the highway. I started counting them- 17 in all from Salt Lake to Provo visible from the freeway.
Now I live in Utah and the number of chapels I see daily doesn't even begin to faze me. (There is still one intersection in Orem with 4 chapels on it that makes me laugh a little bit.) My stake (that's a geographic designation for a collection of approximately 8 congregations) is going to be divided on Sunday (because our stake is now too big and has 10 congregations in it, each busting at the seams). This means on Sunday I have to go to a different chapel for church for the big stake meeting. Being new to my neighborhood, I have no idea where our stake building is. So I asked someone. Her answer was simple, "Oh go to the frontage road and it is the next building you can see south of our neighborhood. Its about 1 mile from here."
In my simple, Virginian-not-Utahn mind this seemed easy enough. Until I drove down the frontage road today and realized there are 2 buildings that, IMHO, fit this description.
But that didn't bother me much. In fact, I'm sure that one is the right building, and one is the new building we'll start using when the stake gets divided. I'll just go where the 5,000 minivans are parked on Sunday morning. It's the easiest way to figure it out really.
But that isn't how I know I live in Very Mormon Utah County.
A few minutes ago I heard some kids playing outside of my house. There was a crash followed by some loud groaning from a boy. He looks to be about 12 and is playing with a brother and sister who look to be about 9 or 10. The older boy was laying in the road holding his man parts next to a skateboard that had clearly done him wrong. The boy was groaning and writhing in some moderate pain (he appeared to be doing it more for attention than actual pain). Just to be sure everything was okay, I got up to watch from the window. (He was okay.)
And then this conversation took place-
Writhing Boy: Is it okay if I swear?
Younger Boy in a very peppy voice: Well, my mom doesn't swear, and my dad doesn't swear, and my sister and I don't swear...
Writhing Boy: I don't swear either, but this really hurts.
Younger Boy in a sympathetic voice: Well, if it would help you.
Writhing Boy: This is the worst pain ever. I hate that skateboard!
Younger Boy in total solemnity: What are you going to swear?
Writhing Boy takes in deep breath and prepares to yell loudly: FETCH!!
(Erin inside the house busts up laughing.)
Little Sister innocently continues circling the two boys on her bicycle.
Younger Boy: Are you okay now?
Writhing Boy: Yes.
(Erin inside the house continues laughing hysterically.)
And that is how I know I live in Very Mormon Utah County.
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