Friday, June 10

how "we" came to be

olivia's version.
as mentioned before, dalin served his mission in san diego, california (spanish-speaking). he returned in february 2011. across the continental united states, all the way to the east coast, (specifically in new hampshire), marisa johnson received a call to the same mission......

over the weekend of general conference, on saturday, april 2nd, my roommates and i were in salt lake city, hoping to make it into a few sessions. while there, i met up with some members of my old ward family. included was my best friend, sarah ayer, and another friend from our home ward, marisa johnson. the three of us had lunch together during which, sarah and i questioned marisa about her mission. as marisa was talking, she grew suddenly excited and blurted out, "i know this missionary who would be perfect for you!" she was speaking to me. as she was bouncing in her chair looking through her phone for pictures of this missionary, i thought little of it. i would never meet him probably anyway. she told me that he was calm but funny--his sense of humor was more dry wit, and you had to listen for it. "isn't he cute??" marisa demanded, showing me a tiny picture of the former elder gunnell on her cellphone (marisa and dalin had come home from their missions at the same time). it was difficult to tell on her phone, but he looked tall and handsome from what i could see. "yea, he is," i agreed. growing excited, marisa announced she was texting dalin right then to tell him about me. shortly after that, i forgot about the occurrence, convinced that the most that would come of it was a meaningless facebook friendship where one says hello once, an awkward conversation ensues, and then the two never speak again. little did i know.

on sunday, april 3rd, (the very next day i might point out) i received a text from marisa saying "i told dalin to friend-request you! say yes!" and then i soon did receive a friend request from dalin gunnell. i accepted it, kind of curious, and soon after got a message on facebook chat reading: so, we have a friend in common... i replied immediately, mentioning marisa. he then said, yep, so, i've never really just talked to someone on facebook that i've never you know how this is supposed to go?

two and a half months later, i certainly do know now how this is "supposed to go." after talking well past midnight every night for the first week, (and beginning to text, skype, and call one another well before that week ended) it became evident that we were clearly very interested in one another. and i felt incredibly good about dalin...even though in the first week, he did manage to insult me, saying i was prideful and flirtatious. i, in return, told him that he was the prideful one, and also cocky. (brief pride and prejudice moment there). i also sarcastically told him that i hated him one day, to which he replied: really? i kinda like you:). that, and after receiving ELEVEN PAGES of messages between april 6 and april 9th (completely from dalin...that is twenty messages per page!!!), caused me to become increasingly interested in this man. we continued to talk by various means every day...for the majority of the day.

because spring break was coming up at byu-idaho, and because i have no family out here, i was planning to hang around my apartment alone for the next ten days (my roommates had all left for the break already). instead, i received an invite from dalin to come stay with him and his family in boise. and feeling good about the idea, i accepted. monday morning, i was rushing around packing a backpack of clothes, doing laundry, and cleaning the apartment. dalin and his 19-year old sister cassie arrived around noon. when i heard the doorbell ring, my face got really red and i had to calm myself down before i could get the door. i was so nervous about this first meeting. i said a brief prayer, and then answered it. cassie was the first one i saw, and she smiled and said hello, but i was just looking for dalin. he gave me the cutest smile that made me so happy and i noticed that his eyes were so blue. then i moved forward to hug him. he was so tall. and i loved that. on the ride to boise, dalin insisted that i sit in the front with his sister and got the door for me (a very charming habit of his). he sat directly behind me and the drive back (for them) began. i rested for much of the car-ride, wondering how this week was going to go. dalin, i realized, was leaning forward and his hands were resting on my seat. i was curled up in the passenger seat and was turned toward the window. his hand was clenched on the seat and i moved my fingers toward him and daringly touched his hand wondering what i was thinking. immediately he adjusted and held my hand. and he continued to for the remainder of the multi-hour drive. 

the rest of that week was bliss. i met each member of dalin's family and also his grandmother when we visited her house. i really enjoyed being with dalin's family. i met a few members of his extended family as well and loved them. we had a dtr (determine the relationship) that thursday in his parents' mini van in their garage. i will never forget it because while we were talking, some guy walked in to the dark garage and looked inside the van in which we were sitting. it scared me so bad, but dalin calmly got out of the van and watched as the guy turned and walked back toward his car (with his three friends waiting on the lawn) and drove off. good thing dalin is brave. after deciding that i would, in fact, like to enter into a relationship with dalin (i had never been in an official relationship before), the remainder of the week got, if possible, even better. we spent more time with his wonderful family and went to his singles' ward together that sunday. i loved going to church with him. and sitting on his grandma's porch swing together. i did not want that week to end.

from then, things have only gotten better. he has visited me in rexburg, and i have visited him in provo. his family has also visited me in rexburg and been so kind to me, taking me out to lunch and bringing me groceries. on saturday, may 28th, i was in provo with dalin and we decided to go for a walk/hike through provo canyon and bring a lunch. suspicious. we saw three snakes (i screamed all three times) and walked a ways by the river there, across a bridge, through some trees, and across a dried up river bed. climbing over rocks, we approached the rock cliff to see where the falling water was leaking into. we climbed up to a cut-out in the cliff and there, dalin knelt down, said a number of sweet things, then asked me to marry him. naturally, i said yes, with the biggest smile on my face. he put a beautiful band on my finger, then we climbed down, called our moms, and returned to the park area to eat our lunch overlooking the waterfall. after, we skipped rocks in the river under the bridge. it was a very happy day. and it felt amazing to be engaged to the most wonderful man that i have ever met.

before i met dalin, i had all kinds of guidelines for myself. i wouldn't get married until i was at least 22 years old (that way i'd be graduated), i'd date the guy for a year, i wouldn't say i love you until we were engaged or married....all of that went out the window when i met dalin. i had even considered serving a mission before i met him. but it was just right. he was just right. and i knew i would have to do things in the Lord's timing. i began praying about him right from the start. and i never felt any bad feelings. only confirmation that he would be good (if not perfect) for me. he makes me desire to be a better person and when i think of him i have more Christ-like thoughts and behavior. at the temple during my weekly trip, i began praying extra earnestly to know if dalin and i were right for one another. and each time, i felt firmly that the answer was a resounding yes. i am so thankful that we managed to find each other in this life and that our time together will extend beyond the grave, which is why i am marrying him in the temple in the first place--so that we can be sealed together for time and all eternity. and so that when we have a family, they can be a part of that celestial marriage. i am so thankful for these blessings Heavenly Father has created for us on this earth.

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