I attended a Young Single Adults ward when I moved out to Utah (a church congregation for young singles.) While there I met lots of extraordinary people and made lots of incredible friends. However, in October a new guy attended the ward. His name was Jesse Justet. The first time I remember seeing him he was giving a talk about his LDS church mission which he had gotten back from about 4 months prior. He served a mission in Australia and I found that really impressive. For some reason I’ve always REALLY loved Australia! Which is why I thought it was the coolest mission ever. Anyway, I thought he was cute but didn’t think much more of it because I was in a temporary “anti-love/relationship phase” due to a relationship that had just ended sourly.
In our ward we had mingles every Sunday where there was food and drinks in the gym and you had the chance to meet other people. It is there that I remember meeting Jesse. I unfortunately was being a super immature 19 year old and running around with a scarf on my head for no reason. Okay, so I probably had a reason but it probably wasn’t a good one and I don’t remember why. But it was then that somehow Jesse seemed to not be totally uninterested in me and walked up to me and made some sort of funny joke or something.
A few weeks later my friends Brielle, Clarissa, and Misty were hanging out together when Misty decided to invite some of the boys from our ward over to play some games. Jesse and Josh came over and we started to play the game spoons. It was there that I really noticed how cute Jesse was and how funny and sweet he was. It was after that night that I knew I would really like to go on a date with him. There was one problem however…my friend Misty really liked Jesse.
One night I attended a fireside (otherwise known as a devotional) where a bunch of Polynesians came and sang songs and one of them spoke about prayer. The talk particularly spoke to me for personal reasons and I ended up bawling like a baby. Much to my surprise Jesse was sitting in the pew right behind me! I was so embarrassed! I basically decided right then that he was never going to speak to me ever again. And to make the situation even more uncomfortable Brielle and I were supposed to ask him what he thought of Misty (because that’s just what girls do haha!) When we turned around to ask him I decided to sit there quietly and let Brielle ask him instead since my face was basically swollen and red. He thought Misty was nice and told us that he was going to ask her on our next ward date night. Blah! Right when I was starting to maybe consider relationships again! I’m pretty certain I went home later that night with angst against men again.
A few days later, after I got over my embarrassment, I was hanging out with my friend Josh and I told him how I was really interested in Jesse. Even though Misty liked Jesse I selfishly wanted to know what he thought of me. Jesse and Josh were really good friends so I hinted that maybe, possibly, Josh could find out what he thought of me. He shot him a text right after he understood what I was implying for him to do. He texted him straight out asking him what he thought of me. Jesse replied back with something like, “She is really cute, and nice, and fun. She’s a really good girl. But she has some growing up to do.” My heart totally sunk! What was that supposed to mean!? *For the record, I totally tease him about that all the time.* I was sad but again, I had resolved months prior that all men were dumb (sorry) and that relationships, for me, were not going to happen for a long, long while (so much for that.)
More time passed and I decided to better spend my time going out on some fun dates, getting to know other men and forgetting this Jesse Justet who thought I “had some growing up to do.” But it was a little hard because he was still really cute. And despite what he said, he was always very sweet to me. I tried to remember that obviously he didn’t know that I read what he said about me.
It was group date night in our ward again and I went over Misty’s house so she could do my hair. While she was doing my hair, mine and Misty’s phone vibrated at the same time, notifying us that we had a text message from Jesse. It read, “The first person that texts back ‘CHRISTMAS’ wins a date to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional with me!” Obviously, both Misty and I texted back immediately in hopes of winning! We anxiously waited for his response, and discussed the possible outcome: What if she wins? What if I win? What if one of the other girls he texted wins? It was then that Misty revealed that she no longer liked Jesse but still really enjoyed going out with him aaaaannnnd…also really wanted to go to the Christmas Devotional. I then mentioned that I really was interested in Jesse but hadn’t acted much on it because she liked him. After what seemed like forever, Jesse texed me back telling me I won! Wahoo!
The day of the Christmas Devotional came and I was so excited and nervous at the same time! Jesse picked me up and we drove down town. The whole time we talked and laughed and I was so surprised how easy it was to talk to him. The devotional was lovely but felt like it ended way too fast. As we were walking out he asked me if there was anything on Temple Square that I wanted to see. Not wanting the night to end already I mentioned how every time I went to hear the Christus talk, it was turned off for some reason. We walked over to the building and I finally was able to hear the Christus. When it was done instead of getting up and leaving, we stayed and talked for hours. The only reason we got up to leave was because the building was closing. When we got in the car it was then that I realized that because it was fast Sunday and, because Jesse’s calling was executive secretary and he had to stay late at the church, he probably hadn’t broken his fast yet and was starving! I apologized for taking up so much of his time but secretly it made me feel special because he was willing to wait so long just to spend time with me.
From that day on we hung out frequently. But it was just that: hanging out. I couldn’t figure out why Jesse hadn’t asked me on another date! But over a short amount of time Jesse and I started texting more and more and when we hung out we mostly hung out with each other forgetting the group settings we were in. By mid- December he told me he really liked me but left me hanging when that’s all he said.
I went home for Christmas but we talked daily through text. One day while I was sitting at home my Dad told me I had a letter and it was a Christmas card from Jesse! By the end of my trip I was so excited to see Jesse! And he must have been too because he said he wanted to see me ASAP.
We went to a ward dance together and the next morning I invited him over for breakfast. We played board games all day and we even surprised each other with little gifts. By the end of the day we both agreed that we liked each other a lot and enjoyed spending time together that we only wanted to see each other. We were officially (and finally!) an exclusive couple on January 1st, 2011.
|Us at the ward mix match dance!|
We spent the next few months dating. And ironically, for a bit of time, the roles reversed: Jesse was chasing me. Not long after Valentine’s Day Jesse told me he loved me. But it took me a little while longer to be able to say it back. And eventually, I really understood how much he loved me when he told me that he wanted to marry me. I was afraid of that big of a commitment and created all sorts of crazy rules (for example I had a rule where we had to finish a book called 101 Questions to Ask Before Marriage before he could propose.) And as Jesse’s drive to complete all the rules I gave him intensified I continued to add on more rules to slow him down.
|Us on one of our dates. We're both really goofy people. :)|
|Another date picture.|
The good news was, I was humbled when we took a trip to Las Vegas so he could meet my sister and I could meet some friends of his from his mission. We went to Hoover Dam where we walked around and talked and somehow when I got back in the car I looked at him and knew that I wanted to marry this man. While we were driving back home we stopped for gas in a little town near Cedar City. He got out of the car, pumped some gas, and got back in and was about to continue driving when I looked at him and said, “Jesse, I think we should go look at rings when we get back home.” Jesse was totally shocked! Needless to say, he drove home with a huge smile on his face.
|A picture of us when we knew we wanted to be together.|
He called my dad sometime towards the end of March and I was surprised when my Dad said yes! Jesse proposed to me on April 8th with “8” cows around (but instead he one upped Johnny Lingo by giving me 10. For the record I’ve always loved the story of Johnny Lingo). Jesse also had chosen to propose to me right on Temple Square near the window where you can see the giant Christus because, as you’ve read, that was where our first date was.
|I don't have pictures of him proposing (I do have a video though) so I decided I'd share some of our engagement pictures.|
|Love this one!|
We got married in the Manti, Utah temple on June 25th, 2011 just as I had always dreamed. It was the happiest day of my life!
|It was a fairy tale.|
I definitely can say that this is not how I imagined my life to end up as a child. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. Jesse has made my life full of joy and laughter. He is my best friend and the love of my life. I am so grateful we found each other and get to spend forever together!
|Blissfully enjoying each other's goofiness forever!|
We met, we fell in love, we got married and lived happily ever after. The End J Ow! ok ok ok. (she punched me.)
I first saw Toni as she walked down the hall at the singles ward. She had just got her hair highlighted and the other girls were admiring her hair and telling her how cute it was. As I walked past, I thought to myself, yes it is and the girl is even better looking! I told myself I needed get to know this girl. My first opportunity was at a mingle where I spotted her running around like a maniac with a scarf on her head and a pink umbrella. (she doesn’t remember the umbrella) I made some smart remark like nice style, she laughed, said thank you, and ran off with a very blushed face. My next opportunity came at a ward family home evening where everyone played the game ninja attack. A small group then went to a friends house and played the game spoons. During the game a couple people got a little aggressive and went after the same spoon. In the scuffle one girl screamed, “Ahhh my nail!” (I decided then that that girl was too girly for me) The other two girls continued to pull and yank at the spoon. I thought, that’s better they are girly but not too girly. The next thing I know one of them is launching herself across the circle and tackling the other. They scuffle for a minute, laughing, and then the tackler pops up with the spoon yelling, AH HA, in triumph. (I thought to myself, now that’s what I’m talking about.) You can probably guess who the tackler was.
From that night on I knew I wanted to go on a date with Toni but as usual I was too chicken to ask her. I began to like her more as I saw her spiritual side. She had a powerful testimony when she bore it in sacrament and had a strong desire to share the Gospel with others. She was fun, smart, driven and spiritual. I had to find a way to ask her out, aaahhhh tooo chicken!! Luckily I have a sister and brother in law who thought I needed a little shove and offered me tickets to the first presidency Christmas devotional but only if I took a date. I wanted to ask Toni but again was too chicken so I made up a contest to win the date with me and text a bunch of girls. I hoped Toni would reply first but she tied with another girl. I made a tie breaker and at that point realized I was being an idiot and could have just said she won. So needless to say she won the tie breaker ;) hehe We had an amazing time at the devotional and talked for hours at the Christus. I saw a serious side and a depth that I had not seen before and that made her even more attractive then she already was. I was really liking her and wanted to continue to get to know her. (Oh, Quick note: I forgot to add the part about the text message where I said she had some growing up to do. I have to note that I only said that because the guy who texted me REALLY liked Toni, which he had confided in me before. I didn’t want him to think I liked her too much, so I had to think of something negative to add so I wouldn’t upset him. She still doesn’t believe me. Ha go figure J).
At this point we started spending a lot of time together. I was still too chicken to ask her on a date but we did social things with friends and gradually started spending more time together. Over time my feelings for her continued to grow and eventually I started to fall for her. One night after spending a night at my sisters watching a movie and having dinner we headed home to drop her off. Toni was feeling ill and she laid her head on the center console and fell asleep. As I looked at her I realized how I truly felt and as we pulled into her drive way and she woke up I found myself whispering those three scary words, I love you! She stared at me with a kind of shocked look as I stared back with a probably more shocked look. Eventually she said thank you and I started kicking myself inside. I knew I shouldn’t have said anything, why did I say that? Eventually though she thankfully got to the same point and finally reciprocated the words a few weeks later. She did however continue to put up road blocks such as her silly questions book. (of which she refused to read like more than one question a week may I add. Ha Ha just a cover up for nerves, we never finished it. I would be nervous about me as well.) Every time she asked me if I was planning to propose or asked what I thought about marriage she came up with some new reason why I couldn’t do it. Eventually it was her, however, who to my surprise suggested we should go ring shopping as we drove home from a trip to see her sister and my friends the Nielsen’s. I’m sure that was the most shocked I had ever looked in my life, it was totally out of the blue. I realized after that, all of the roadblocks where just her attempt to deal with the nerves of a young women nervous about marriage. By the end, the roadblocks become more of a joke between us than anything, I found them adorable. Oh, and just for record keeping sake it was St, George not Cedar City, she will deny that to her death bed though.(For anyone who knows the Nielsen’s I still think it was the Nielsen’s who pushed her over the edge. Just being associated with the Nielsen’s makes you more desirable. Truly some of the greatest people to walk the earth!)
|So happy together!|