Cassie Shepherd

May 25, 2010

Long Distance

Maybe one of the reasons Mitch and I initially kept our relationship at a distance was because he was going to be doing summer sales in Southern California from May - August 2008. The night before he left I realized how much I was going to miss him but I did my best to try not to become too attached. He said we'd stay in touch, yet, I fully expected to face what might be the end of our dating days.
The day Mitch left he called me on his way out there and then again to let me know he made it safely. I was surprised how much he kept in contact over the next few weeks. In the back of my mind I kept waiting for the day that the phone calls between us would slowly fade. However, they only increased. After about a month he invited me out to spend the weekend with him. I remember sitting on the plane departing Salt Lake City and thinking, "You're crazy!" I felt crazy because I was flying out to see some guy in another state! I had plenty of dating opportunities at home...but I was curious to see where the relationship between Mitch and I would go. The weekend that we spent together proved to be a very important one for the progression of "us." It was during that weekend that we first shared some spiritual moments together.

My last night before I flew home I was telling my mom that something was missing between Mitch and I. I wasn't sure what, but something. I felt, unfortunately, that I wasn't sure if I wanted to pursue the relationship because I might be burning other bridges at home. Shortly after saying this Mitch came home from work. For the first time, Mitch suggested that we read our scriptures together. He asked where we should read and I said to pick out his favorite scripture and surprise me. He read Helaman Chapter 5 which, ironically (or was it?) contained my favorite scripture - Helaman 5:12. The scripture had a lot of meaning to me and influenced me greatly during a struggling time of my life. The scripture reads:

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the arock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

This scripture created a special bond between Mitch and I that night and ultimately has served as a foundation for our relationship. Mitch had mentioned something about me being his girlfriend but we decided that we would wait a little while longer before calling it exclusive. When telling my mom this next day on the phone she said, "You better not commit to him! He is in California. Don't you dare even think about it!"
Three days after I got home from California Mitch called and said he needed to talk to me about something. After 3 hours of random conversation he finally asked how I felt about seeing other people. I basically told him that I felt like if things were supposed to work out for us than I had faith that it would. I said that I didn't mind if he saw other people but at the same time I'd be happy if we decided to call it exclusive. He said he felt the same way and that was that. We made it "official." The date was June 6, 2008. (To the day, this was 2 years since I had graduated high school and 1 year since I had sent "my missionary" off. I find it necessary to note that I had told this other guy that if I felt the same for him in exactly a year, then I would wait. Coincidence? Maybe. It is interesting though that Mitch addressed it in California, but unsatisfied, three days later - on such a significant date. I believe it is much more than a coincidence.)

The next 3 months were filled with a lot of growth for Mitch and I. We would spend hours and hours on the phone! Sometimes the sun would be rising when we would finally say good-bye. We shared everything about ourselves. The good and the bad. I think the distance helped cushioned some of the bad parts that were shared. It wasn't easy being away but it gave for a good excuse for me to take vacations and visit him. While I was there we visited the Newport Beach Temple and San Diego Temple where we shared more spiritual moments. We went to the beach, watched the 4th of July fireworks explode over the Pacific ocean, spent the day at Disney Land and California Adventures, drove around in Mitch's favorite little Japanese Mini Trucks, camping at Big Bear Lake, and just plain enjoyed learning about each other and soaking in every little moment that we had.

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