Last week Jeremy sent me a beautiful email, a story, a conversion story, his conversion story. I asked him if it was alright to share it on his mission blog, his reply was, it was up to me. I had Dad read it and he agreed that it would be nice to share it with others. Thank You Jeremy for sharing your Conversion Story, your Testimony, it is powerful and beautiful. What a wonderful gift you have given your mother. I love you.
March 30, 2015
So about five months ago we had a zone conference, now I don't remember much from it but during it it I felt an impression to write down somewhat of a conversion story, it took me about a month to finally to do it and once done I wasn't sure who to send it to so I sent it to Sister Craig, the mission presidents wife, I at first didn't want to send it to you since there was some things in there that I never shared with y'all, but I suppose now you might like to read it, so here it is. I love you more than you love me!!!!!
I once thought that a conversions story had to be something big, powerful, awesome, exciting. I doubted if I even had a conversion, but I believed everything I was taught, I knew it to be true, there was no doubt in my mind that the gospel was true, that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet, it just all made since to me. So why didn't I have some miraculous story to tell? I pondered on that one for a long time, years and years, until it finally dawned on me, I didn't need some one time experience to make me believe, I was blessed at a young age to have the understanding needed. And all throughout my life I had these little experience that strengthened my faith. It didn't really start until my high school years when my parents sent me to a catholic high school for better educations, for most of the time I was the only Mormon there. and yes my faith was tried on multiple occasions, but I was proud to be a Mormon and others could see it, soon they respected that and strong friendships were built.
As the years went by my desire to serve a mission started to decrease. I still knew the gospel was true I was just not wanting to serve a mission. I kept this a secret, knowing that if I told people they would start to harass me about it. My plan was to graduate high school, work for a year saving up money and then take off for college. But a road block came to those plans, while I was working saving money, I decided that it was finally time to receive my patriarchal blessing. So in mid November I went to the patriarch and received my blessing, which became a major turning event in my plans, things were said and such a strong spirit surged through me, saying go on a mission. I knew better than to ignore those feeling, so still not wanting to go on a mission I decided to anyways cause I now knew that, that is what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. Paper work was put in and a call was received to leave in a month for the Florida Jacksonville Mission. Excitement and fear ran through my body, uncertain what to expect I enter the MTC, and that is where I started to grow like no other.
Before I left home my father had encourage me to search out Jesus Christ and make him my best friend, which became my biggest goal for my mission. He also challenged me to truly have heart felt prayers, staying on your knees praying until you finally feel his presence there with you. So my first night in the MTC I decided to try it, I had never prayed like this before, but low and behold I did feel something, I knew he was there and was listening to every word, a testimony of prayer was strengthened that night. Now as the days flew by in the MTC my prayers became stronger and stronger but I soon learned that I knew nothing about the gospel, which was a real humbling experience, seeing as how before I came out I thought I knew it all and now realizing that I was far from prepared to be a missionary let alone a representative of Jesus Christ. But I continued to press forward relying more and more upon the lord for strength.
Now here is where the story gets interesting, I finally enter the Florida Jacksonville Mission and get put with my trainer, whom I'm sure got frustrated with me so fast, being this new missionary that literally knew nothing about teaching the gospel. But as time went by things started to improve until one day I just broke down crying in front of my trainer. I was about ready to give up, I was saddened for I thought that I wasn't feeling the Holy Ghost, and as a missionary you kinda need that companion, but as I talked with my trainer my eyes were opened to how the Holy Ghost gives you guidance and I soon began to recognize it and fall in love with it, gaining a testimony of how the Holy Ghost touches our lives.
These were the first of many experience that tied into my conversion, soon I gained a testimony of repentance after having to clear some thing up with my mission presidents and went on to receive a greater understanding and love for the sacrament. All of this which took place in the first couple months of my mission, was shaping me into the missionary that I have become today. I have seen the Lords hand in my life as he's put me through the refiners fire, molding me Into what and who he needs me to be. My testimony of this gospel and all that it includes is now stronger than ever before. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, he suffer something that only a perfect man could suffer. He took upon himself the sins of the entire world, he has become a light in my life, an example to me, he has become my best friend. I know that this church, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his kingdom once again established on the earth and that the fullness of the gospel is found within it. I know it, I live it, I love it. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.