“Finding New Friends,” Liahona, January 2009, 20–21
A few years after my mission, I moved to a city where I didn’t know anybody. I went to institute expecting to make new friends and begin socializing with other young single adults in the area, as I had previously done.
Initially, however, I found this difficult. No one was unkind, but there seemed to be little going on, and I sometimes felt lonely and distanced from those who already knew each other well. In contrast, I quickly made good friends outside of the Church.
It sometimes seemed that not going to institute would be easier than going. I didn’t have a ride, so I would have to walk or cycle each week to get there. I had found good friends with similar interests elsewhere. Besides, I had already graduated from institute.
However, as I thought about all of these reasons not to go, I remembered how much I had grown in the past because of the lessons I learned and friends I made at institute. Institute had nurtured my testimony and helped me better understand the Lord’s plan for me. I decided to keep attending, and I am glad I did. Gradually during that year I did make good friends at institute. I received invitations to social events and over time became much more involved.
It was hard to attend institute in a new area at first, but because I kept going anyway, I have received many spiritual and social blessings that I could not have received otherwise.