I pray the one day my family will follow me into the Church. I would be so happy to see my my sons serving at the altar during Divine Liturgy! One step at a time. I hope to take my family to Vespers soon. Alternating weeks (Vespers/LDS Sunday services with the family one week and Divine Liturgy the next week) is working out great so far. The priest of our parish is fine with this and agrees that I have to be sensitive to my family's desire for me to be at church with them.
I met with Fr. Sam (our priest) over dinner last week and we had a long conversation about my journey. I also emailed him a list of all of the books and articles about Orthodoxy I've read and he made some additional suggestions. He told me after Vespers on Saturday that as far as he's concerned, I'm ready to be chrismated. All he needs to do is speak with my wife first. I really appreciate his sensitivity to my family situation. He won't chrismate me unless he feels it won't ruin our marriage. I don't feel ready, though. Hearing that kind of left me without words. I don't feel ready, not by a long shot. I'm not a very good catechumen. I've been a catechumen for nearly three years, but I'm a terrible faster. I'm a great reader of books. In other words, I'm great at thinking about Orthodoxy but not living in an Orthodox manner. Honestly, I don't feel like I've done much of anything to prepare for illumination besides go to Divine Liturgy when I can and read a lot of books. I plan to devote the Nativity Fast to truly, for the first time, fasting in an Orthodox manner. It's hard since I don't really know how to shop inexpensively for fasting meals. My boys will want their standard meat-based American fare. My wife's on board with the fasting diet, so that will make it easier. She welcomes a meatless, vegan or vegetarian diet for health's sake. It will be interesting to see how we can make this work. Please pray for me as I begin the fast so that I may do so faithfully and with an Orthodox mind. God willing, I will be chrismated in the near future.