Sunday, November 3, 2013

Conversion Story of Isabel

September 30, 2013

(Mom's note: Karee had the opportunity to teach Isabel about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Isabel wrote a letter to Karee's mission president to share of her experience. I have included this letter to let those of you following Karee's blog have an insight as to the purpose of her serving this mission. Hearts are touched and lives are changed through Jesus Christ)

Dear President Packard,

I would love to share my conversion story with you and Sister Packard, please feel free to share it with others who are seeking the truth and need encouragement. I feel that I have been truly blessed joining the church and am looking forward for my spiritual journey.

I believe that there are two parts to my conversion story: Worcester First Ward and my personal journey. 

Bishop Andros had announced to the Worcester First Ward that together they were going to fast to strengthen the ward and to help the missionaries back in May. From what I heard, after joining the church, the missionaries were having a hard time finding investigators, many of the members were fasting and then I showed up that first week of August. 

I had moved to Rutland back in January for a temporary job. After graduating college, it was really tough trying to find a job. I had this very strong urge to move to Boston but unfortunately every interview here never worked out.  I then moved to Colorado hoping that something would come up and that I would eventually live in Boston. I didn't grow up in any church, my mom had tried to raise me as a muslim but I could never follow it, I didn't feel like it was for me. I had been exposed to different churches especially in college but nothing ever made me like it was right. I agreed with most of them but not enough to pursue it. Regardless, I always prayed to God especially when I was feeling discouraged. I was at my very low in Denver, I felt like I had been abandoned. I had applied at Heifer International as my last hope, I had been contacting them for the past two years and thought that I would be able to get in. They called me back to tell me that they unfortunately had no more positions available. Receiving that phone call was the worst, I cried because I didn't know what I was going to do, I had no more options. At that moment, I told God that I didn't blame him and then thats when my phone rang. I answered it and it was my current supervisor now, he said that I was perfect for the job position they had in Rutland, that he could interview me right then and that I would get in. He also mentioned it was right by Boston but I couldn't believe my luck. I moved to Rutland in January. 

The experience I have gained at this job was exactly what I needed and it gave me direction, I became who I wanted to be someone confident, generally happy and secure in what I wanted. Theres a piece of this story, I haven't shared yet. I grew up living around the world and because of that I value friendship greatly because I know how easily it can be cut short. My best friend was serving a mission in Paraguay for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint. I had met him when I was fifteen and since then we had been writing to each other. When I had met him, he wasn't as involved in the Church but returned when he decided to serve a mission. He asked me to come see him before he left and invited me to Church. I remember having a great time. During his mission we continued to write, he begun writing to me about joining the Church and then sent missionaries to my parents home in Texas. This was about a year and a half ago. I was really upset because back then I didn't want to affiliate myself with one belief. I believed in God but I hadn't made a decision for myself. I told him that if he wanted to continue being my friend he had to understand that If I wanted to join the Church it would be my choice and because of this he couldn't talk to me about it. The reason why I bring this up is because of what my father said when the missionaries showed up at our house. I was very upset and my dad was even more upset with me, my father does not get disappointed with me often but there was definitely a sense of disappointment from him. He mentioned that he had been to the church before and had been friends with Elders that served in Chile when he was younger, that I should have invited them in and gave them a chance. At the end of June of this year, my friend returned from his mission trip and as he had promised me, we didn't talk about the church but I could see that something had changed. What my dad had said the me, was continuously repeating in my head so I went on the LDS website, typed in my address and left a message to Bishop Andros that I wanted to go to Church, and what time the service was at. I went to Church on fast sunday, coincidence because I had fasted to make sure I was making the right decision. I was going to give it a chance. I arrived to church early and saw the sisters walk in, I ran in behind them but when I came inside they were nowhere in sight, I walked around the church and sat down at a bench. Brother Velez popped his head out of one of the rooms and looked at me and asked if I was lost. I told him I wanted to be here but I wasn't very sure where I was suppose to go first and I felt like I had been walking in circles. Brother Velez then sat down and told me about the church, within those fifteen minutes of conversation was exactly what I had to hear to know that the church was true.

The first day I showed up at church was also the day I had the pleasure of meeting both of you. The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints felt very familiar to me and still does. I wish I could write down how much joining the church has blessed me and all the tiny miracles I have witnessed that keep affirming my belief daily. I will forever be grateful for Worcester First Ward for being so great to me, they have really strengthened their ward and I could feel it. I will forever be grateful for the missionaries, they helped me feel the Holy Spirit when I needed it most and they were so patient with me during the lessons. I will forever be grateful to my best friend for introducing me to the Church, without him I would have had to wait for another opportunity to hear about the church. 

Thank you President Packard and Sister Packard, if you have any questions please feel free to write me back.


No comments:

Post a Comment