Episode #28: Published June 3, 2019
Eric and Chris were best friends and drinking buddies during and after high school and while Chris was a member of the Church, religion was definitely the farthest thing from their minds. When a personal crisis led Eric toward God, his lifelong friendship with Chris and their shared experiences years before showed them both that the path back to the Savior can look very different from the way you might expect.
And for more inspirational stories from our This Is the Gospel: Converted Unto the Lord series, click here.
Hey friends, KaRyn here.
Before we get started with today's episode, I just wanted to take a minute to sincerely thank you for sharing your experiences with this podcast with your friends and your family and for taking the time to write a review. We read every single one. And if I'm being totally honest with you, sometimes when we're having a rough day, we might read them more than once for some moral support. We couldn't be more honored to help share the stories your stories that transform us and lead us to Jesus Christ. So thank you so much again for all that you do for us and for sharing those reviews. We appreciate it.
Welcome to This is the Gospel, an LDS Living podcast where we feature real stories from real people who are practicing and living their faith every day. I'm your host, KaRyn Lay.
There's this famous poem by Robert Frost called "The Road Not Taken." Now wait, before you turn this episode off because I just said the word poem, hear me out. It won't be painful I promise, I think. Anyway, that poem gets thrown around pretty often when people are talking about the decisions that we make in our life and the consequences of those decisions. And most of us have heard the final lines of that poem that go: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
But before good old brother Frost got to that part of the poem, he actually penned these lines: "I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence" and I can always hear that sigh in my head at full volume because I know what that sigh is all about. Decision making is exhausting and it's a little bit fraught. And when we can finally see that fork in the road in our rearview mirror, we are sometimes left with some lingering regret about the road that we didn't take.
Well, in today's episode, we have a story that explores the way the paths we choose affect our lives and the lives of the people around us. For good or for ill, our story comes from two friends. Chris who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Eric, who most decidedly wasn't. Though their life paths would cross and separate and then cross again, the real story is actually how a loving Father in Heaven was inspiring their steps all along to bring them back home to him.
We'll start with Chris and then you'll hear from Eric as their stories intertwine.
I met Eric in junior high but we started being friends our freshman year in high school. Looking back, the feeling that I had was I knew him before.
I wasn't really super strong in the gospel at that time. You know, I was a teenager who was more interested in girls and having fun and less interested in homework and going to church. That fit Eric pretty well as well.
Me and him were drinking buddies after high school. And when we lived together, you know, we did all the crazy things that kids had high school did together.
We always had this connection. It went beyond, you know, just regular friendship. It was like we were brothers. It makes me emotional. I'll talk about it.
About eight or nine years ago, I had my first panic attack. I didn't know what it was at first.
They gradually got worse and worse. Like, my hands would shake uncontrollably, like I couldn't even pick up a fork. It felt like I had an 800-hundred pound gorilla literally sitting on my chest. Like the weight of the world is on you. I couldn't take my kids to school because I was afraid that I was going to pass out and kill us all.
I mean, I literally went through all the science, all the emotional things by going through therapy and it wasn't working.
I would turn to alcohol. While the alcohol was in my bloodstream, they would cease for that time. As soon as it was out, it would start again but then it would be 10 times worse.
I wasn't a huge spiritual person. I mean, I believed in God but to the extent of does He know me, does he hear me, does He care about what I'm going through. Maybe he's busy doing God stuff that He doesn't have time for me. I just started getting to the point where I felt I had no other choice but to plead to God to break me out of this.
So I would say what brought me back to the Church after several years of inactivity was the seeds and values that my parents had instilled in me as I started thinking about okay, what really am I doing?
There's nothing long term about anything in my life. Everything, every decision I'm making is short term.
And at one point in time, I had decided to serve a mission and I got off track. And I've had a lot of guilt about that at times and I've had a lot of regrets there and wondering and I saw some opportunities looking back that I had missed. And it really just felt too late.
And as I knelt in prayer, I told Heavenly Father, I said, "Whatever you put in front of me, I'll accept the challenge." I just needed I needed a spiritual win. And I just committed to the Lord. I said, "I don't I don't care how hard it is I don't care how nervous I am or how many people are around. If you put me in a place to share the gospel, I'll do it." And I committed to the Lord that He could trust me with that.
I don't get on Facebook a lot, but I did feel impressed at one point time that any time that I saw anything from any of the Twelve Apostles or from the First Presidency that I would read it and I would like it.
And that's, you know, not easy because it's for everybody to see and you're putting yourself out there. But then I just realized, what do I care? I would rather have somebody see it and have their life changed.
I was just scrolling through Facebook. I something in that Chris had posted and I know it's something from his church and I've never seen him really ever post anything about his church.
I don't know why, but I felt overwhelmingly compelled. I need to watch this. It turned out to be Elder Holland's conference talk "Like a Broken Vessel." I was absolutely blown away. I was in tears because I felt like he was talking directly to me.
I really don't even know why that did. I mean, lots of people go through hard times and this guy is speaking to millions of people. But there was something about the way he delivered that message that it was for me. It was directly for me.
I remember I wait till that evening and I called Chris up.
I think he turned to me for help for a couple reasons. I think one is he was receiving promptings but he didn't know what they were and he didn't recognize them as such. And he also just knew that I wouldn't judge him and that I'd love him no matter what because I think there was a lot of people that would have not given him a chance.
And another reason he has expressed to me that, you know, we've been friends for 25 years and that, even though I wasn't always living the gospel, he recognized the difference in my life as a result of having this truth.
Eric called me and I was kind of getting to the point where I had a hard time answering his calls because he was always drunk. He texted me or called me again and this time we connected and that's when the Spirit told me this is it. I was a little surprised by that because one of who it was: the biggest scoundrel that I ever cavorted with probably one of the worst influences at my life. And then Spirit's telling me this is the person, that this is the opportunity that you asked for.
I'm sure his life's not perfect, but he's got something figured out maybe it is his faith. I saw him transform when he decided to go back to the church. I knew he wouldn't pressure me to talk about his religion if I didn't want to. He's just so they are listening and giving advice where he can and that meant a lot to me.
The first time Eric and I spoke in-depth about the gospel, we spoke for two or three hours. I bore my testimony to him. The Spirit was strong.
Oftentimes that's confusing because Satan is really good at mimicking that. I said, "I know that you were feeling? The way that you feel right now?" He said, "Yes." And I said, "That's the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is testifying of a truth to you right now and you need to recognize that." And he did.
And so what Eric told me at that time was that this is the feeling that I've been searching for as I've been medicating myself. And once I knew that he recognized the purity of that, I stopped being nervous and started being more confident in my approach and my, and in our discussions.
As I prayed for Eric, I felt prompted that he needed to be offered a blessing. This was a difficult thing for me to offer because this guy had seen the worst of me and here now I'm going to offer him the priesthood blessing.
He approaches me one day and he said, "Hey, there's something I think that will help you. And I'm like, "What's this?" And he's like, "Well, I have the priesthood in our church which gives me the authority to act in the name of Jesus."
And I'm like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Backpedal a little bit. So I've known you my whole life and you're trying to tell me you're a priest, right?"
And so my mind was so like confused on what was going on. He goes, "If you just trust me on this, I really think it'll help you." He goes, "I'm here for you whether you want to do it or not." He goes, "I don't want to pressure you. I definitely don't want you to do anything that you feel uncomfortable with."
It just so happened that he was gonna be up here because he lives about an hour and a half away from me. And so I said, "Okay, let's do it." And this is probably a Thursday and so Saturday rolls around, Saturday morning rolls around and I remember this.
So I am laying in my son's bed and I'm like having a panic attack. And I remember just praying like, "Is this what you want me to do, Lord? Is this the right thing?" Like, I need something to tell me that this is the right thing. Because my mind is just not in the right spot. I was mentally broken and spiritually broken too, obviously.
And I said, "Lord, if you want me to do this, get me there. Just get me there." The next thing I remember is I had my keys in my car and I'm back and out of my driveway.
The day that it was supposed to happen, I got really nervous and I knew he was super nervous and I actually gave him an out.
When he showed up and pulled up the driveway, I was pretty surprised. And he got out and walked to the door and I could tell it was everything that he had in him to make that happen. And I think he would recognize now that that was the adversary realizing he was at a crossroads and he was about to head down a pretty important direction away from where the adversary would have him go.
And so I go into the house. You know, they welcome me in and they take me to this little side room, and I just want to survive this.
As soon as they both lay their hands on my head, he said my name and he said the authority. I just started bawling. Literally, like waterfalls coming out of my face. I was like the crying the emoji.
So to ring me up now looking back as soon as I put my hands on his head I felt like I was having a hard time being able to continue standing. And I knew that I was just a conduit between him and the Lord. I felt the most overwhelming love his Heavenly Father had for him. And I know he felt it too. It felt like the Lord had all this pent up stuff. There's like a dam ready to burst and I couldn't get it out fast enough.
He said things that there's no way he knew. He didn't know what was in my heart, things that were going on in my heart were brought up things for me that were comforting to hear. The one thing that particularly stood out was the decisions I make today will change generations of my family. Little did I know how prominent that part of that blessing would be.
I couldn't help but think that this is real. This is really God speaking to me, relaying the message to me. It has to be that because there's no way he could have known these things. I think that turned out to be the anchor of my faith.
I'm I'm sure he's received other blessings since then but I can think of a half a dozen times that I've given blessings to people where they were there they changed both people as significantly.
And that was definitely one for me that is, that is one of those, one of those experiences that was written on my soul that I will never forget.
When they finished the blessing, I felt calm. And then I was able to have this conversation with them about the Book of Mormon.
And I remember I came home and lay back down on my bed and I just go right back into panic attack and I took the Book of Mormon and I threw it on the nightstand.
I didn't think about it for maybe two or three days and during this time, I just I'm still in the same cycle of panic attack, wait till there was decent hour where I can drink so I can stop having a panic attack, you know, over and over for a couple of days. And I remember I'm sitting there, I just get this overwhelming urge like open that book. You're praying you've got this book sitting next to you, open it. And so I do.
And I open it up and I'm kind of a weird person. I like to read the end of books to see if it's a good ending or a bad ending. The first page I open to I read it and it turns out to be Moroni's promise. I didn't know how significant that was at the time but I do know how significant those words were because I've never heard of any religion anywhere say, think about it, pray about it, the Lord will give you an answer if it's true. I've never heard that. And so for me, I was like, "Wow, that is really amazing."
And so now I'm having like all kinds of questions about his church because. I definitely felt the hand of God during that blessing. And then all of a sudden I'm having these things that are out of character for me, you know, picking up the Book of Mormon, you know, being inquisitive about this religion. A religion which I thought I knew about, which I was adamant wasn't for me.
So we had some conversations and stuff and then he gave the invitation: would you be willing to meet with the missionaries? And I remember at the time I said, "Okay, okay, I'll meet with them, you know, like maybe I'll learn something.
There were just things that they were saying that just, well, that makes sense.
At that point I knew that the Lord was pulling me back in. That started kind of just building a little bit of faith. I felt like the Lord was listening to me. For the first time, I see small changes are starting to happen. You know, I'm still drinking I'm still having panic attacks but I just see small changes.
So I was like halfway sleeping, halfway not asleep. And I remember and I was laying there and I get this voice in my head and it says, "Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate."
Then I remember like it startled me and I woke up and I remember and I wrote it down on a pad of paper next to me. About two or three days later, I'm in my garage and I'm about ready to drink a beer and I get that same voice in my head, "Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate."
And I remember looking up and then the voice said again, "Eliminate personal behavior." And I was angry. Well, God, you finally speak to me. You're going to tell me to take away the one thing that is helping me now.
And that's when I completely surrendered. I looked up to God. I tested him: "If you're real you prove it to me. You show me that you're real. If you want me to stop drinking, you make it happen. You're all knowing all seeing all doing, you do it."
As soon as I said that I became so calm.
And I just had this whole change of heart inside me. And that was the moment that I was going to face my reality that I had a severe drinking problem and probably nothing in my life was gonna get better unless I dealt with that.
That day was such a heavy day for me because I immediately picked up the phone and I called all my friends all my close friends and all my close family members. I told them about everything that was going on with my mental issues about how the drinking was the only thing that I felt that I could get through on a day to day basis. But I was tired of it and I was going to get help somehow. And I was gonna beat it or I was going to die trying.
I woke up the next day and I never had like such a sense of relief in my life.
I think that's the first time that I ever repented. I repented through pure honesty. So now I'm a man on a mission.
I needed to take some time to get away from everything. It was so hard for me to do that to leave my wife and my kids. I mean, I'd never, I'd never spent a day away from my children at that point. Here I am, going to go to 30 days. It was tough.
You know, my wife was all on board. You know she knew that I needed this. So she gave me the inspiration and the courage to go and do it while I was in rehab.
I was preparing myself for when Eric got out. I was doing that by fasting, praying, studying the scriptures, just pondering I guess.
You know, it was a new experience to me. I had plenty of missionary experiences in my life but not one really ever that went beyond one awesome experience here or this one was advancing. I knew that in rehab he would have lots of good influence and lots of bad influence.
So I was praying for him and I was praying for me, asking what should I be planning to do next.
I had my book of Mormon with me and I carried around with me with, with pride, actually.
And that's the first time that I took the opportunity to read it because I had the time to read the Book of Mormon to study it. And I read it sincerely. Like I was trying to find something in it and take something out of it. And I walked away out of that facility knowing that that was absolutely the word of God.
So I get out of rehab. I come home and, really, the Church is the last thing that is on my mind. I'm scared to death of how I'm going to make it. How am I going to stay sober? And mind you, I'm still having panic attacks. They haven't gone away.
So I've been back for two days and it was nighttime. It was summer and my door was open and trying to get my kids to bed and I get a knock on my door.
So I did not serve a mission and my wife did serve a mission and she's just way more in tune with the "what next?" side of things.
And she's known Erik longer than me. He just lived down the street from my wife. So she was very much a part of all this as well. And my wife sprung into action and she started calling around. She wanted only the best missionaries to go meet with Eric.
I remember, like, I don't need this now. They show up with cookies. I'm like, "Oh that's nice of you. I appreciate it, you know. Yeah I'm back. You know, maybe we can meet sometime." You know, I'm like, "I don't really have time now. I'll be in touch." And so they started walking away and it was about 15 seconds later, again knock on the door. And there they are. And like, "Well, we were just thinking. What's come to church with us on Wednesday? There'll be nobody in the church and we just give you a tour."
I was like, "Alright, I guess I can do that." There was something inside me that was, that kind of said, "Yeah, you should probably do this."
I just remember walking through the church and this cool, I've been in the Mormon church before. we sit down in the Relief Society room and they want to kind of hear my story and where I'm at.
And so the two sister missionaries, Sister Holck and Sister Bernard, who are there like daughters to me, like they were truly heaven sent. And sister Barnard, she says, "I don't know why, but I need to say this to you." And as she's speaking I'm looking at her and I knew that I knew both of these sisters and that somehow we were fulfilling a promise that we made to one another. That, "When I go on my mission to Mill Creek, Washington, make sure you look out for me because I'll be there."
And that's at the moment that I felt that, I knew that I'd been a member of this church before. That I'd been prepared for this before. This was the moment.
We talked a little bit more and that's when they said, "Have you thought about a baptismal date?"
Over these weeks and months, he kept telling me through all these conversations, he says, "Well, you know, I'm struggling. I'm struggling with anxiety."
And that's not anything that I've ever dealt with, with anybody that I've loved or, or not loved. It's just anxiety and depression were something that I had zero exposure to. And even though I had at one point in time shared Elder Holland's talk "Like a Broken Vessel," I had listened to it but it hadn't resonated with me.
And so I was kind of blowing past his anxiety and I had no idea. I kind of you know, to borrow a term from Elder Holland, and I kind of in my head was just like, "Hey man, square your shoulders. Toughen up a little bit." Like, "Just be happy," which is an easy thing to do when you're not somebody that's ever struggled with anxiety or depression.
And it wasn't until I finally, it finally started sticking that he had a real problem with anxiety and that he, that I started paying a little more attention and I went back and listened to it and it just you know, I sobbed. I sobbed because it helped paint a picture for me what my friend was dealing with. All the dots connected at that point when I went finally went back and listened to it.
So I'm done with the drinking now but I'm still having panic attacks. I speak with my father and my father knows a professor who knows a world-renown psychiatrist. I tell him all my symptoms, what's happening. Within like five minutes of me sit down he goes, "I know exactly what you have. I know exactly what's going on with you. And I guarantee you I can fix it."
So he tells me, "No alcohol. No marijuana. No caffeine. And no nicotine." They're all stimulants. He says, "You know, what you're doing is your body is dumping adrenaline because your body reacts adversely to stimulants." My head, at the time I'm an investigator in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I have a medical professional who told me that the only way to cure yourself is to stop smoking, stop drinking. No caffeine.
I'm really struggling with the smoking part.
Watching Eric struggle to give up smoking was really hard. It hurt me because I didn't have the answers and I had had many answers for him and now he's coming to me saying, "What am I doing wrong? This feels like it's bigger than me. Why would the Lord take the alcoholism away, which was just such a bigger harder thing and leave me with this?"
I cried with him, you know, because he says, "I want to get baptized. I can see a light. And right now, there's fog between me and the light and I want that gone and this is it. And I don't know what to do with that."
I can't do it so I moved back my baptismal date.
I go to church on that Sunday and my ward has a ward fast for me that Sunday. Throughout this whole time, Chris and all their families are put me in on the prayer rolls. I was in temples of places that I didn't even know existed. I had a lot of people on my side just pulling for me.
It was Monday morning I just got my kids off to school. I was folding laundry and I remember, like, thinking, like, "Okay, I might get around it and have to make this phone call to the sisters and tell them like, 'I just can't do this.'" Like, "'It's just not now's not the time.'" Like, "'I'm just, I just can't do it.'"
And it was not soon after that I felt the Holy Spirit so strong that it literally dropped me to my knees. I felt every prayer, every fast, every blessing, everything that everybody's ever done for me on my behalf, felt like it was hand-delivered to me and this dropped by all my feet.
And I remember praying the most sincere heartfelt prayer that I ever felt my life. That was the very first time that I felt Heavenly Father love me unconditionally, no matter what, that He loved me. I had the Holy Ghost tell me that I had done everything that was asked of me and that I'm not perfect, but it is my time to be baptized.
I know with all my flaws in all, that He is the one who says on my behalf, "Did I not suffer enough for this man, Heavenly Father? Haven't suffered enough for him?" And that's the power of the gospel. It changes people's lives, even someone like me.
I felt a lot of joy at his baptism. But I felt, more importantly, the joy of people around me that I couldn't see. It was really amazing.
I know I was able to see with my, not with my eyes, but with my, my soul how many people were praying for him on the other side and all those people that love him and were praying for him and were counting on him all had the opportunity to be there for that. I felt that.
So my baptism that day was awesome. I wasn't nervous. I was super excited because I knew that this was my divine destiny. I don't know how many people were at about baptism. Not everybody could fit into the stake Relief Society room. So I just felt so much love. And I felt a sense of camaraderie with everybody.
And, of course, was so special for me to have Chris to be the one to baptize me.
He's the example of what ministering is. Twenty-five, thirty years of ministering to me without me even knowing it, which I think is probably the best sign of ministering, when you don't even know you're being ministered to.
I remember the hymn that I pick for my baptism was "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go."
That's just a reaffirming my promise that I made to the Lord that if you were to help me through those trials and tribulations that I was going through during those really, really, really dark days, that I said it that I would testify of His truthfulness and His love for us, no matter where that may be. If it's a phone call at 2 o'clock in the morning or if it's having to travel somewhere, I'll do it.
I've never seen the ripple effect of somebody's goodness affect so many people in the way that it does with Eric.
Everybody that I am around knows about Eric and just can't wait to meet him.
You're sitting in a meeting and somebody says, "Does anybody have a missionary experience?" And everybody looks at me and I'm like, "Sure."
So everybody that I've been around has heard this story all along the way and it's just been so, built so many testimonies stronger.
I'm ward missionary, which I love, which obviously is, you know, I feel like that's my calling forever. And I particularly love working with less actives. And all the time, I get asked or they say, say something to the effect of like, you know, like, "Oh, just you know, I'm so far off the path. And, you know, I don't feel worthy and all this kind of stuff."
And I just look back at like me and Chris, that experience, you know. Like the Lord was planting seeds when me and him were 15 years old for our paths to intersect, where our friendship and faith intersect.
In his patriarchal blessing, one of the things that it said was that he shouldn't consider himself a convert to the church and that he's been on the Lord's path the whole time. And that has changed my whole perspective on the world and my life and everyone's life. I've had a lot of opportunities to use my agency in my life and you might say that I've used my agency wrong. Who's to say, who's to say the Lord just keeps putting parts in front of us that lead us back to Him?
Sometimes we don't choose the right path. But then there's another one right in front of us, another opportunity.
It's impossible for anyone to comprehend what it's like to be our Heavenly Father and be able to see the beginning and the end at the same time. But I get little glimpses of it in these scenarios where I didn't serve a mission.
Sometimes that is hard for me to think about because I think about the people that I could have served in this way and still had this opportunity with Eric. But at the same time, having the experiences that I had and making what you could call poor choices it allowed me to more properly be able to identify with him in his time of need. I couldn't relate to his anxiety and depression, but I could relate to the sorrow and to the lost opportunities and, and I could relate to the, almost every aspect of where he was on that path because of the agency that I exercised in the wrong direction.
A lot of times in my life, I tell people who are less active or anybody who really wants to listen is that there's always a way back. There's more than one way back. There's several ways knowing that then what are you doing today to plant those seeds for something 30 years from now in the future.
That was Eric Stephens and Chris Pierce.
I think the thing that struck me most from the story is that beautiful understanding that both men came to about the value of their life experience. While we know that God can use us wherever we currently are to do His work, isn't it so comforting to realize that He can also use where we've been when we turn our lives over to the Savior and we become new men and new women in Christ? Our past choices aren't actually erased, they're transformed sanctified dedicated to His purpose.
What was once scarlet is not disappeared like garbage, it's actually turned white as driven snow. What I like to think of is that it's still there, but it's purified and it no longer hurts but helps us.
I've thought a lot about Lehi's vision.
There's a symbolic value in that straight and narrow path that he saw and I feel gratitude for the reminder to stay connected and to press forward. That lesson is beautiful and true and guiding. I think there's another lesson in what Lehi didn't see or perhaps just didn't record from that vision but that he definitely learned as he and his family were in the wilderness and then shepherded across oceans.
Those of us who are blinded by the mists and those who wander and fall into the swirling waters or those who tie up their brother and beat him within an inch of his life just to prove a point are definitely subject to the rule of consequences. But they we are never actually lost to God. He knows where we are at all times and He is mindful of the power of those mists burning in our myopic eyes and the condition of our hearts as we stumble into the river and the effects of the beating sun upon our minds as we're tossed back and forth on the waters of the ocean. He sees us in our wholeness and He understands how to bring us home.
When I was 27, I was deeply worried that the choices I had made meant that I missed some chance at the kind of life that I wanted. There was real pain for me in that regret, like somehow there was this life that I was meant to be living over there and that somehow I'd over or undershot it and now I was doomed.
I took this concern to my visiting teacher, who was also my friend, and after listening to me and sitting with me in that pain, she said something that has changed my life forever. She said, "KaRyn, there's not another parallel life over there that you should be living filled with everything you've ever wanted. Where you are right now is where you're supposed to be because the Atonement of Jesus Christ brings all of our wandering roads back to meet the path."
That straight and narrow path. The minute we choose to seek Him. And just like Chris and Eric discovered Jesus Christ is the restorer of paths, He is the redeemer of our choices. And despite our past wanderings, He makes it possible for us to have the life that we're supposed to have right now with every step in His direction.
That's it for this episode. Our deepest gratitude to Eric and Chris for sharing their stories. And thank you for listening. We'll have a link in our show notes at ldsliving.com/thisisthegospel for a video where Eric shares his heartfelt testimony and a little bit more of this conversion story as part of our This is the Gospel series Converted Unto the Lord.
If you haven't seen these videos there are six of them and they're all moving and deeply compelling. That link will be in our show notes. So head on over to ldsliving.com for that.
If you have a story to share about living the gospel, we'd love to hear it. Call our pitch line at 515-519- 6179. Again, that's 515- 519-6179 and leave us a message with a short synopsis of your story. If it fits one of the themes that we're working on for upcoming shows, we'll give you a call. And, of course, be sure to check out all the past episodes of this podcast and the All In podcast at ldsliving.com/podcasts. This episode was produced and edited by Katie Lambert and me, KaRyn Lay. It was scored and mixed and mastered by Mix it Six Studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Have a great week.