Cookie Love

Mormons love cookies. Not only do we love eating them, but they also function as a tool for us. If we want to encourage someone into start coming to church regularly, we bring the person cookies. If you know someone is going through a hard time, you make them cookies. We also have cookies available at activities that no one wants to go to as an incentive for people to show up.

I grew up equating giving cookies with an act of service. If I had a lesson on charity at church I would have deep reflection about who in my life might need cookies. We were taught that not only would bringing goodies to someone give them joy but that act would intrinsically benefit us as well. My mom once told me that when she was little and she was having a bad day, her and her mother would make cookies for someone else. Finally, without cookies and other related snacks, I would have no place to retreat to and look busy when slow dances started playing during church dances.

My Young Single Adult (YSA) activity a few weeks was to bring cookies to people who do not come to church regularly and invite them to our YSA activities. We sorted cookie plates and assigned groups addresses. As my group got into the car our jubilant bishop yelled after us, “I bet I can get more people to come back church than you guys!”

cookie plate

“Challenge accepted!” the keeners in my group yelled back but our first two addresses were failures. As we pulled up to the last address, I saw that to my surprise, we were at my house. We could see my aunt mowing the lawn in the back. However the cookies and invitation were not meant for my aunt or me but instead a girl named Caroline. I assured them that I would be happy to take the cookies on Caroline’s behalf and in return I would come to the next activity. I even told them I that I would share. My suggestions were met with silence from the rest of the car as they sat pondering what to do.

My hopes of eating the cookies were ignored and we started patrolling the neighborhood, trying to spot a house with someone single within our age group (18-30) who we could give the cookies to. After an extended period of house scanning we stopped at a house where according to one of the girls in the car, a group of single men had recently moved in. The other girls in the car became a little giddy and started fussing over so-called imperfections in their hair and make-up. When no one answered the door, the girls contented themselves by leaving a note inviting them to a YSA activity, included their numbers and left the cookies at the doorstep. I saw then where the cookie priorities lay.


“This is the place”: How I Know I Am In (Holladay) Utah.

Over the past two months of being here in Utah several people have asked me how Utah differs from the places that I have lived before. This is list is my attempt at putting my finger on some of those unique Utah things that I have experienced so far. I intend to add to this list as I continue to live and experience Utah. This post will be a lot more fun if everyone contributes their ideas of what should be on the list as well.

–   Looking out the window repeatedly and thinking that I am staring at the moon but then belatedly realizing it is a Burger King sign.

–  Not being able to go 10 minutes while walking to church without random people stopping next to me and offering me a ride. At first I walked to church because I wanted the exercise, now I just go and count down the minutes until someone pulls over.

–  Referring to the giving someone the “finger” as giving someone the “happy sign.” That sure changed the meaning of that personal story during Sunday School!

–  Having nine chapels that I (as someone new to my area) can think of within a five-minute drive.

–   Hearing inaudible grumbles about Obama (it is only inaudible because no one wants to hear my blatant socialist/Canadian retorts) every time the topic of elections or government comes up.

–  Having the mountains so close that they feel protective.

–   Needing a half hour to walk three blocks downtown.

–   Being able to use the word “Sunstone” like a swear word.

–  Places and people named after words unique to the Book of Mormon ie. The national park Zion, the guy down the street named Moroni, and the make out spot on Zarahemla road.

–  Referring to canning as a season.

–  Realizing that I do not know a single non-Mormon here in Utah, which is particularly strange for me because I usually I am the token Mormon.

–  Using the word “flamer” to refer to someone who is gay.  Someone at work told me of her embarrassment when she thought she was using a particular website for research but when she clicked, it turned out to be a website of a flamer. It took me a while to realize she was not talking about an arsonist.

–  Going to a bookstore and seeing over five books about Mitt Romney which are still on the best-seller racks.

–  Seeing that the chivalry, or at least the act of holding doors for women is indeed not dead.

–   Someone’s first response, when telling them about my recent car accident, is to ask what they can do for me.

–  Feeling self-conscious to the point of obsession about your lawn.

–  Having my cashier at the grocery store (who I feel that I have never seen before) tell me she enjoyed my testimony at church.

–  Needing to tailor one’s mini van to accommodate the giant reusable mugs for gas station refills on diet coke.

What have I missed? Comment, comment, comment!