Let's just stereotype for a moment. Mormons are nice. Yeah. I went there.
Now, realistically I know that not all Mormons are nice, but every Mormon that I recall meeting treated me like an old friend. On my flights to and from Salt Lake City on my most recent trip to Hispaniola (the island which the Dominican Republic and Haiti are located), I met two very friendly and talkative Mormons.
The first man, let's call him Joe (because he never actually told me his name), told me stories about his love for his wife, Wendy, daughter Lily and new little one on the way. He and his wife grew up in two different states; she in California and he in Utah. By chance her grandmother had moved to Utah from Connecticut and decided to work for his father's bank. Later, Wendy decided to go to college in Utah and lived with her grandmother. When Wendy took over her grandmother's position at the bank, she and Joe, who was a teller, became quick friends. One day, a mutual friend said to Joe, "Hey! Why aren't you and Wendy dating?" In response, Joe thought, "Hmm.. Yeah, why aren't I dating Wendy?" A couple years later when Wendy was 21 and Joe was 25, they got married. They've been married for seven years now. Cute!
Now the man pictured above was extra nice to talk to. We spoke e entire two hour flight between Salt Lake City and San Francisco. He told me stories about his life, interesting facts about his family and little tidbits of advice. I can't share everything with you, but I'll share the clif notes version.
- He's 72 years old and has been married for 45 years. He says that the success of his marriage is realizing two things: marriages/people aren't perfect and you have to work on your marriage. To have a great marriage/relationship you must give more than you take and put your spouse first, but your spouse must also do the same. - He said everyone is a book. Every time you meet someone, they're sharing a chapter of their story with you. In order for you to get to know someone, you have to take the time to go through the many different chapters of their book. Everyone around you is just a book waiting to be read. Extra cute. - He told me that his grandmother raised him. When she was 11 she met Wild Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull. - He also told me that he joined the Air Force right after high school. After his four years of military service, the Vietnam War had just started and all his friends were enlisting. He decided he'd enlist, too, but when he got to the recruiting office, it was closed. He never did enlist, and if it wasn't for the office being closed, he might not be alive today. - Finally, he invited me to stay with him, his wife Judy and their 26 year old daughter, Keri whenever I was in Salt Lake City. He invited me to bring friends or my parents and he'd put us all up and show us around.
He was such a lovely person to talk to!