I am wetting the keyboard with my tears as I post this blog. My mother is the most courageous women I know. She is so strong and she does so much for her children. I'm sorry everyone but I've got the best mother in the entire world. I sob as I remember the pains I've probably caused her. However, I sob even harder when I read how far she has come. I never realized just who my mother was until I've read this. She is the greatest women on earth. I am so grateful for her. I am grateful for the missionaries who have taught her. I am grateful God has brought her and my father to a knowledge of the truth. I am a product of what my mother has done. Here is her conversion story:
Well here is my conversion story. The whole time Dad and I dated we talked a lot about the church. I had lots of questions--I couldn't believe he was mormon because of his lifestyle--I thought all mormons followed their beliefs. We had one conversation that I remember because I was afraid if we ever got married that I would have to become mormon. He told me he wanted me to at least look into the church and if I didn't believe it then he wanted to me to find a church because he wanted our family to be raised with a knowledge of the Savior. He doesn't remember having this conversation ^-^. We even went to church once while living in Denver--it was a testimony meeting. I was so afraid of talking in front of people and asked if I would have to do that--Dad assured me that I wouldn't have to if I didn't want to.
After we were married and living in Gallup, New Mexico, one day two missionaries appeared at our door. Dad was at work so they made an appointment to come back when he was there. I thought Aunt Pattie had something to do with it but Dad's boss was a bishop and he is the one who sent them our way. That first meeting, I felt something, there was something about the missionaries that was different. Their love of the gospel and of the Savior was amazing and so genuine. I hated it when they had to go because it seemed that the spirit went with them. I went through lots of missionaries but no baptism. No one really asked me or if they did, I wasn't ready. What they taught seemed to make sense. We started going to church. On one visit someone from the stake came with the missionaries and asked me a bunch of questions about the church. Basically, he told me that I was ready to be baptized and asked if I would commit to it. I said I would but that I wanted Dad to baptize me. That was in April 1986 and missionaries had been coming to see me since August/September of 1985. I hadn't read the Book of Mormon all the way through yet. Things were sort of staus quo for awhile. Dad quit drinking to get his life in order and missionaries kept teaching us or visiting. Finally, an elder that was being transferred that I felt especially close to said it would be great if I would get baptized before he left--we had three days to get things ready. He did everything. I told my family, of course my mom thought I was doing it because of Peter. I told her that it was my choice that Peter wasn't even that active that I was hoping to help him become more involved. The day of my baptism right before the meeting was to start an elder interviewed me--I thought I wasn't going to get baptized for a minute. He asked me if I had quit drinking and smoking. I really hadn't although I wasn't doing those things at the time but I hadn't thought about quitting either so I was truthful. The elder asked me to commit to giving it up and I said I would so I squeaked through.
I think it took me so long to commit because I thought I had to be perfect before I could join the church and I knew that I wasn't. Someone finally got it through my head that it was a process--that Heavenly Father didn't expect us to be perfect--that was why we were here was to learn. I was afraid of giving up my lifestyle but I felt the spirit so strong and knew that it was right--I just had to act and put away my fears but I am slow. I never jump into things. I have to think things through before I decide.
When I came up out of the water, I truly felt reborn--that my sins had been washed away. It was overwhelming and so joyous. I had been given a second chance at life and I was so happy, so grateful. There were tons of ward members there to share in the event. We sang "I Am a Child of God" and Bishop Wise spoke (Dad's boss). We were friends with his family too. Several ward members had us over for dinner after that and the ward truly welcomed us in. I had quit drinking and smoking, I was going to change. Lots happened after that, I was asked to speak in church--I was scared to death but I couldn't say no--I always felt compelled to do what my leaders asked. After my talk in church which I related to running, I was called to the Young Women's presidency. Then I became pregnant with Jonathan. Dad and I were not extremely good about going to church--we still skied on Sunday's sometimes but things settled down more after I got pregnant and we were starting our family.
When we moved to Kemmerer, I took the new member discussions there from a couple who were called as stake missionaries. I learned more about the temple through their lessons and I decided then that I wanted to go to the temple. I told Dad that I wanted to do that and that I would wait for him to be ready. He was still drinking on occasion. I got rid of all my short shorts and tank tops (anything immodes) so that I would be ready for garments when I went through. Well, I had to wait until 1992 to go but it was worth it.
I have always felt that Heavenly Father brought Dad and I together so that I could hear the gospel; so that I could help him come back and that we could go to the temple. I don't miss my old life in the least--I am so ashamed of it now. As a child, I was always searching. I wanted to go to church whenever I could. I would walk from school in the third grade to attend a weekly bible study class where these two old ladies told bible stories. I loved the stories. I would go with my grandma Miller whenever she would take me. For a while when I was in the 6th grade mom would take us to a church to go to Sunday School--she would never go but she dropped us off. I would go with friends to their churches whenever they invited me. I don't know why I didn't just go on my own when I got older--by then when I could drive I was too wild and crazy to think about God. I didn't want to think about him then because I was doing so many things wrong. When the truth was finally presented to me, I knew it, I felt it and I was ready to accept it.
The gospel does change lives--the Savior made it possible for us to have a chance. Keep looking for those who are searching David. They are just waiting for the truth to come to them.
It is because my mother made this decision that I am on a mission. One conversion makes a difference.
THE CHURCH IS TRUE.