Satisfied with a bittersweet end to my junior and senior years, I graduated high school in 1987 and began my first quarter at Utah State University the following fall. This commenced a very lonely period of my life. I had five roommates, some of which were friends from high school, but not close friends. I always felt like I didn't have anything in common with them and like an outsider. Nor did I really make friends with anyone in any of my classes. As I observed my roommates and other students pairing off, I longed for a close relationship. I kept trusting in God that she would just appear in some corny romantic way, like our hands brushing as we each reached for the same carton of milk in the grocery store, looking up, and from there it would be magic and true love forever.
In the apartment downstairs there lived an older group of guys, and we hung out with them on occasion. One of them was named Phillip. He had certain characteristics that made me uneasy, it was probably kind of like looking in the mirror and seeing a disturbing image, but not really realizing I was looking at my own reflection. Phillip seemed to want to strike up a friendship with me. He asked me if I wanted to hang out with him, go to the movies, meet for lunch on campus. I always refused, finding some excuse. I once took him up on his offer to take me to the grocery store with him, since I didn't have my own car, but the whole time I was in a cold sweat, wanting nothing more than to be away from him. I still didn't ever stop to reflect upon my feelings of discomfort and nervousness deeply, but I began avoiding him at all costs. There was just something about him.
So I really had no social life as a freshman in college. Instead I focused my attention on my studies, writing letters to my family and friends, and getting ready for my mission.
Finally, just before the end of my last freshman quarter, I met Trudy. She was a senior in one of my classes who had already been on a mission and she was close to graduating in my same major. Her parents lived near mine about two hours away, so she started giving me rides home on the occasional weekend. There was something about her that I really liked; she was sweet and genuine. We began to share a closeness that was so refreshing after feeling all by myself for so long. I kept telling myself that maybe she was the one. I felt no attraction toward her physically, but I didn't think that was an issue. After all, I was trying to get ready to go on a mission!
I entered the Missionary Training Center in April of 1988 in preparation for my departure to Peru. And I again I felt certain that those gnawing thoughts that had plagued me since the onset of puberty would finally subside.
And as a matter of fact, those thoughts did subside for a time, but they manifested themselves in a way that nearly kept me from going to Peru and fulfilling my calling as a missionary for the fastest growing church in the world.