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Converted unto the Lord #2

In a recent post, I talked about my first exposure to the Church, which led me to yearn to believe in something.  At the time, I didn’t really know what I wanted to believe—just that I wanted to believe in something. I realized that though I grew up in a Catholic home, I really didn’t even know what Catholics believed, much less what I believed.

Now, in the interest of disclosure, I must interrupt this tale to tell you that the roommate’s boyfriend who introduced me to the Church, is now my husband, Mirko, of 18 years. How this came to be is also a very interesting story, but for another time.  :)

So there I was, wondering what I should believe in, interacting daily with someone who was firm in what he believed. I was so drawn to his faith. I wanted what he had. But it is amazing, looking back now, that it did not cross my mind at the time that I might want to believe in the same things that he believed in. I figured he could help me figure out what I believed in, though I did not expect that I would end up believing in the same things. I especially did not expect or want in any way to join any church. That was one thing I did know for sure.  ;) 

I really wanted very early on for Mirko to invite me to something involving his church. I expressed as much interest as I dared without risking being impolite or nosey. Meanwhile, Mirko was trying very hard not to be pushy. It seemed like an eternity to me, but when he finally invited me to meet with the missionaries, we had known each other for only two weeks. I enthusiastically accepted the invitation, looking forward to their assistance in figuring out what I believed. I still did not get that they were there to teach me about what they believed.

So the day finally came for the first discussion. I was very surprised that they were my age—and a little put off by it. After all, I had heard them called Elders, so weren’t they supposed to be Elderly? At any rate, I got over that quickly enough. We started the discussion, and it became quickly clear that they had a very different agenda than I did. They started talking about subjects that were completely foreign to me, such as prophets and books of scripture. Honestly, I really did not care about these things. I am not sure what I expected, but these topics were definitely not it. Then, as I was barely keeping my patience about me, they asked me if I would be baptized! I was highly offended, and told them most certainly not. When they left, I completely intended not to invite them back.

Mirko spent the next couple of hours calming me down, though I do not now remember the content of our conversation. The result was, though, that we did invite the missionaries back, with the understanding that they would not pressure me into being baptized.

To be continued…

What obstacles did you need to overcome in order to listen to the gospel message? How did God work in your life to prepare you for it?

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • jennycherie February 2, 2012, 4:32 pm

    How timely! I was listening to the Mormon Channel radio this morning. Through Facebook, I went to a blog of one of ‘my’ missionaries and from there, found out that her story was on the Mormon Channel (episode 31, if any of you would like to hear a great story about a remarkable family dealing with real immigration problems.) It seems silly, but hearing her voice on the radio, even though I already knew her story, has really touched my heart today and kept me thinking about my conversion. I have not seen her in 17 years, and she was not even able to be at my baptism (because she was transferred before I was baptized), but even still I love her *so* much and am so grateful for the way she taught me.

    Tracy P, I can remember being surprised the first time the missionaries asked me to be baptized also. I think that it used to be standard to ask right away. I met with the missionaries regularly for four months, sometimes more than weekly. I think I threw away my Book of Mormon three times, when I got frustrated and decided I was not interested. I had many challenges, the first of which, was that the boyfriend who introduced me to the gospel (to whom I am very grateful) was barely active himself. I was also surrounded by friends who drank heavily, smoked pot and were very promiscuous. I also had a family that was strongly opposed to my interest in the church, who prayed for me (and I think, even involved their churches in praying on my behalf – especially once I got engaged!), and even came to my baptism, solely to discourage me (as did two of my friends.) There were many obstacles, but ultimately, it always comes down to, “is it true or not?” That was the one thing that kept me coming back to the missionaries – surely I could get an answer to that one thing. I wrote a little bit about the process of being prepared to accept the gospel here: http://ortmonsters.blogspot.com/2009/02/listen-to-still-small-voice.html
    jennycherie recently posted…Joy to the WorldMy Profile

  • partone February 5, 2012, 3:40 pm

    Wonderful story.

  • Erin February 5, 2012, 7:35 pm

    I am so interested in the stories of people who investigate the gospel and become baptized in the church. I was born and raised in the church, always active, but my conversion has been lifelong and will continue forever, I think. (My perpetual conversion is a whole different story than this post!)

    I served a mission, and I highly doubt any of the people I taught and/or were baptized stayed active, so your stories are fascinating to me. Please keep them coming!
    Erin recently posted…God & The SadnessMy Profile

  • Tracy Polyak February 5, 2012, 7:55 pm

    jenniecherie, I really loved your blog post. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    Erin, I have similar concerns about those I taught on my mission, and that is why I started this series. We all know people in our wards that are converts, but know so little of how they got there.

  • Amber Mae February 6, 2012, 11:02 pm

    Finally got around to taking your challenge. Just posted part one of three about my personal conversion to the gospel. I was born in the church, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t go through my own conversion.
    I think this is a great idea. I love listening to people’s stories about their conversions! It’s always inspiring and uplifting :)
    Amber Mae recently posted…My conversion Story Part 1My Profile

  • Tracy Polyak February 7, 2012, 8:28 am

    Amber Mae, I am so encouraged to know that I had a part in inpsiring you to write your own conversion story. If there was one thing I learned from my mission, it is that members need to tell their conversion stories. They need to remember how the Lord led them to where they are now. I used to make it a point when meeting someone new to ask about their conversion story. But I have gotten distracted and haven’t done that for a while. I think I will renew my efforts in this area.

    Please let us know when you have the next 2 parts ready!

  • Amber Mae February 7, 2012, 2:44 pm

    Tracy,
    I’m glad you’re encouraged :) Part 2 is up.
    http://www.ambermaybe.com/2012/02/06/my-conversion-story-part-2/
    Amber Mae recently posted…My conversion Story Part 1My Profile

  • Amber Mae February 8, 2012, 5:36 pm
  • Tracy Polyak February 8, 2012, 7:33 pm

    So many times I have heard members say they wish they could have the experience of being converted to the gospel. But everyone can have that experience, even if they grew up in the Church. Your experience demonstrates this beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing these, Amber Mae!

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