Tuesday, September 23, 2008

For my posterity (part 2)

I have always been someone that believed in Christ. I knew that God existed even though at times I had felt forsaken. I had been to many churches as a youth and had tried many with Tim and never found the one that seemed right so it would never last.

In the years of trying to have a baby and not being successful I had all but given up on God. I felt betrayed, hurt and downright angry so I stopped talking to him. Not until I asked that question of Mark did I start thinking about Him again.

Mark I talked a little bit about the church at that time. He explained the LDS church and what it was all about it. As our friendship grew, I gradually asked more questions. Mostly because I'm nosey like that but I also like to think that I was searching again. He would answer my questions but never pushed the issue. Eventually he introduced me to his brother-in-law Gary that happened to also be one of his missionary companions way back when. By this time we were talking on the phone and I got to know him better as well getting to know his family. Mark and Gary both were/are married and each had 4 kids at the time. (they now each have 5, they are competitive like that) As the time went by, I asked more questions and often we would all three talk about the gospel.

It's now April of 01 and get a package in the mail. In it is a whole bunch of Utah goodies and a Book of Mormon with Mark and his wife Denise's testimony written in it. It also had several scripture references highlighted for me. By this time, hubby knew of Mark and Gary and their families even though he thought it a little odd. I can see why looking back on it how one might feel that way but believe me it seemed as natural as anything ever had.


I would occasionally pick up the Book and thumb through it. I would even try to read a few verses but it always seemed like I was reading another language. A few months went by and Mark asked if I had read it yet. I told him that I was having trouble getting into it and he and Gary challenged me to read 10 pages a day. They would also read 10 pages a day and we would meet once a week on the phone to discuss what we had read and so I could ask any questions that came up. I took the challenge and we did just that. Before long, I had completed the entire Book of Mormon. Somewhere along the way, I just knew that what I was reading was another testament of Jesus Christ. I could feel it and it seemed vaguely familiar. That's kind of how hearing about the gospel seemed to me, vaguely familiar.

As the guys told me about a modern day prophet and apostles it all seemed to make sense. Why would God leave us alone in these troubled times. It made sense in my head and then I started feeling the conversion in my heart.


Mark and Gary called the missionaries and in November of 2001 I started taking the discussions. Tim wanted to sit in because he wanted to know just what I was getting myself in to. I had my doubts that these 19 and 20 year old "kids" would be able to teach me anything but I soon realized that they had been given a special mantle to carry. They were on God's errand and each time they taught me, I felt more and more of that sweet warm feeling burning in my bosom. I knew it was true. But more than that, I knew that God knew that I knew that it was true. There was no way of getting out of it. I had a decision to make. To be continued...

8 comments:

Nancy Face said...

Tonya, I'm just loving reading this wonderful account! I'm excited for more! :)

Kimberly said...

I'm getting all sniffly. I like what you said about knowing that God knew that you knew. Neil felt much the same way when he got his answer.

Melissa said...

So awesome! We always hear of the bad things that come from meeting people online... so cool to hear GOOD things :)

Gabrielle said...

Amazing Tonya. I absolutely love your conversion story. I love hearing it time and time again.

Amber said...

I think these entries are for a lot more than your posterity. What a wonderful testimony-building read they are for the rest of us!

Yvonne said...

This is so wonderful. I think it is so wonderful that they challenged you and then read the same 10 pages a day and would discuss them with you.

Can't wait to read more.

Rachel said...

Thank you Tonya! I realize that you wrote that for posterity's sake, but I'm feeling in a bit of a spiritual slump at the moment and I relly appreciate your story (even though I've heard it before. I"m really excited for your big day that is coming up...Best wishes!

Chel said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing.