I’ve only read two Mormon missionary memoirs (plus one compilation of Mormon missionary comics), but both have been helpful for me in thinking about my own missionary experience. Brittany Long Olsen’s Dendo: One Year and One Half in Tokyo is a remarkable graphic novel memoir of her missionary service in Japan. The art is great, the ambition is fantastic, and it absolutely deserves the 2015 award it won from the Association of Mormon Letters.
I write a lot about Mormonism on this blog, and even though I’m not shy about being critical, I think I’ve also made clear that in relative terms, I’m on pretty good terms with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not on such good terms that I’m still an active member of that church, of course, but I still feel a lot of fondness for it, and I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself an “ex-Mormon”—the great thing about the word “Mormon” no longer being officially approved is that it makes it all the more appropriate for describing my own religious identity.
If life were fair, I’d be out on a morning run right now, but life isn’t, so I’m not. The immediate unfairness getting in my way is a flaring up of my retrolisthesis; in short, there’s a vertebra in my lower back that isn’t inclined to stay in place, and my core muscles aren’t always successful in convincing it to. Things aren’t as bad today as they were a week ago, when my lower back was experiencing so much stiffness (and, to a lesser extent, pain) that I couldn’t even bend at the waist, but despite my improvement over the past seven days, I woke up stiff enough this morning that I knew going for a run would probably make things worse.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'with love and respect to Senator John Fetterman and his family – WIL WHEATON dot NET'
I read this when Wil first published it, but I thought of it again today with even more gratitude—for both Wil and Senator Fetterman. I’ve been wondering recently whether I should refrain from making particular commitments or pursuits because of my own struggles with mental health, and knowing that there’s someone with depression serving in the U.S. Senate is giving me hope. link to ‘with love and respect to Senator John Fetterman and his family – WIL WHEATON dot NET’
Yesterday, I listened to a new episode of the Project: Zion podcast, the semi-official podcast of Community of Christ. This episode was an interview with Shandra Newcom, one of two apostles-designate who will begin their service after the April 2023 World Conference of the church. It was a delightful episode, and I posted something to the Community of Christ subreddit that I wanted to repeat here: What a great episode!
A couple of weekends ago, I had my first experience with a Community of Christ Reunion camp. Kiddo and I only stayed for a long weekend rather than the whole week, but it was still a great experience. By far the best experience I had at Reunion was a Monday morning class for young adults and “90s kids” (which is not a label I’ve ever actively applied to myself, but it fit just fine.