But ours truly is my favorite!
Since today is Friday and is therefore the second Friday in my “Friday Favorites” series, and in honor of Valentine’s Day next week, my husband and I would like to share our love story. This is a post that we co-wrote with each spouse sharing their side of the story; thanks beau!!
Jon and I met back in the summer of 2013 as I was going through the process of converting to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What follows is the story of how we met and fell in love.
Oh my gosh; where to begin?! So our love story, at least in the beginning, is pretty intricately tied to my conversion story which is a whole other blog post for another time! I met Jon as I was going through the process of converting to the LDS church and being taught by the missionaries. After my first lesson with the elders they invited me to church that Sunday and I willingly agreed. That first Sunday they casually introduced me to a few of the church members before the service started, including Jon (very briefly). I had no idea at that point that the elders had been praying/fasting/looking for a wife for Jon, nor that they had called him to tell him all about me!
That Sunday was Father’s Day and Jon was one of the speakers. When he stepped up to the pulpit to speak this odd thought popped in to my head that this was the man who I was going to marry. It really shocked me, and I tried to quell that thought rather quickly as I had just barely met him and knew next to nothing about him! Even though I had prayed for quite some time to find a good partner, and that God would bring the man I was supposed to marry into my life, I was hesitant to jump headfirst into a new relationship less than a year after the end of another serious relationship.
Jon and I quickly began spending almost all of our free time together. He came to all of my lessons with the elders and helped them to teach, he attended the weekly bible study at the church that I had started to attend, he stopped by my work while I was there to pick up snacks and boxes of macaroni & cheese; and little did I know he could get these items a lot closer to home than the 30 minutes he drove to my workplace! One day after a lesson with the elders I got a text message from them asking if they could give my number to Brother Brown (Jon). I said yes, and no sooner than I had, I received a text from Jon asking me to come to dinner after church the next Sunday. From then on he had me over for lunch, that he planned and prepared, every single Sunday. He took me to church historical sites and the Palmyra temple grounds. He was always available to help me study my scriptures and answer any questions I had as I was learning about the church. He even took me shopping for dress clothes to wear to church.
When it came time for me to be baptized the elders asked if there were any of the church members that’d I like to be the actual person baptizing me by immersion. I responded that I’d like Jon to baptized me, and the elders could not contain their grins! I later learned that not only had they told Jon about me and that they had found him a wife before they introduced us, they’d also been trying to get the two of us together more often, had been teasing Jon and gifted him a wedding cake topper they’d found for free by the side of the road, and were secretly hoping I’d choose Jon to baptize me. Jon happily accepted the offer and a few days later stood in the waters of baptism by my side, and despite my nervousness about being immersed, baptized me in to the LDS church. I cannot deny the intense spark of energy, that literally warmed me head to toe like I’d been lit from within, and the immense connection to Jon that I felt in that moment. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.
Throughout the month or so we’d spent together I became pretty smitten with him. He was so kind and chivalrous. He held doors open for me, brought me flowers, complimented me, brought an umbrella for me when it rained, and had seemingly endless wells of patience. He was good with the kiddos and seniors at church. He seemed to be loved by all those around him. Not to mention he had a wonderful sense of humor! I had never had the pleasure of meeting a young man like him before. By this point I was spending pretty much every waking moment either with him or talking to him, driving over to his grandmother’s house after work each day to visit him. At one point my parents even questioned if we were dating/if I had any news to tell them, but at that point in time we weren’t even officially dating yet!
It was about that time that Jon was headed off to Utah and California for a two-week vacation that had been planned months ago. As he was in an airport in Atlanta on a layover we were both lamenting how difficult spending these two weeks apart would be. We had grown used to having each others constant friendship and conversation. We had been really sharing our hearts quite a bit and talking about what we’d want in a relationship and a future spouse for the past month or so. So we did what any logical person would; we decided to make it official and start a relationship after a month of near constant time together while Jon was sitting in an airport terminal thousands of miles south of New York!! Haha!!
Since that day we’ve had a whirlwind four-month courtship, a surprise engagement at Cabelas that really did shock me for as hard as I’d tried to weasel proposal details out of him, a beautiful sealing/ring exchange/reception, and two wonderful, adventurous years of marriage. We’ve also recently added a puppy to the mix and will be moving in just two crazy short days. I think if the last few years are a testament to anything it’s that life will continue at this breakneck pace and will not be without it’s trials; but I know that because I have the most amazing husband who is such a joy to be with, and is truly an equal partner in our marriage, that we can tackle anything life throws our way.
So I had been home from my mission for a while, and had spent a lot of my time helping the local elders (young men from the church who share the gospel with others) with appointments and driving them places. Two elders, Cameron Klafke and Jared Empey, were in the area at the time. Elder Klafke could see my desire to find an eternal companion. He began praying and fasting that the right person would enter my life. From the start, every time they ran in to a single woman of a similar age as me he would call me and tell me that he had found my wife. Eventually, I began expecting these regular phone calls. One day he called and said he had found a ginger that’s perfect for me. That ginger happened to be my beautiful wife, Caitlin.
He said they had an appointment to teach her about The Book of Mormon, and that she would like to come to church. That Sunday she came to church and she took my breath away. After that Sunday I took every chance that I could get to see her. I would get out of work in the afternoons, and would drive half and hour away to buy a snack at the store where she was working at just so that I could get a glimpse of her.
I began having dreams of marrying her. I tried my best to be a good friend to Cait as she navigated new facets of her faith and life. After a few short weeks she was baptized into the LDS church, and we continued to visit with each other. We began to explore the feelings we both felt for each other. Before we had even begun dating we talked of our desire for marriage. In August we officially began dating, and I officially began planning asking for her hand in marriage.
The following four months were wrought with excitement and her prying to try to find out about me proposing. We had a trip to Cabelas planned with my parents for after Christmas. I thought it was the one day that she wouldn’t be expecting a proposal and I was right! While at Cabelas I offered to have our picture taken together, and as my dad was taking the picture I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.
Since getting down on one knee I have leapt in to the greatest journey and adventure of this life. It has now been two years of wonderful marriage. Every day I am thankful to be married to my best friend and every day I am comforted by her companionship and tender love.
Cait & Jon