Um…Comedy?

I apologize for the lack of posts. Dealing with an overwhelming amount of work right now, plus the worst migraine headaches you could imagine which makes writing a little difficult.

Saturday night, our ward held a talent show. I had a terrible migraine and slept most of the day. This isn’t BS here: I actually had fifteen minutes of rehearsed and well-scripted dialogue for that night, but it was all for not. Due to the headache, I totally ad-libbed, hence the crossing of the legs and the variety of ‘Um’s’.

Advertisements

When Your Spouse Doesn’t Believe

When I converted to Mormonism in 2009, it was to the disbelief and discouragement of many friends and family. None more so than my husband who was adamantly against my joining the church. When I first began studying with the missionaries, he didn’t say much, until he saw I was regularly attending church and talked about getting baptized. And then…

Well, he had a lot to say.

There were fights. A lot of them. At first he told me I was not allowed to go to church– which if you have known me for at least two seconds you would know how well that went. In fact, our marriage up to that point had been more than a partnership. We were a team. Neither of us told the other what to do and we each were confident with the other person. I felt I wasn’t doing anything different…as long as he had known me I had a thirst for spiritual knowledge and he had never not known me to study spiritual books or attend some type of church. He always said he knew what he was getting into when he married me…that Jesus was an important factor in my life. My joining a church shouldn’t have brought on the marital discord that it did.

To say it was bad is an understatement. He began to search anti-Mormon sites on the Internet, but as an atheist, he couldn’t find anything that didn’t dispel the church without bringing attention to a God. Finally, he laid down the law and said I could go to ‘that church’ if I wanted, but under no circumstances would he allow his children to attend. Period.

When I joined my very small ward, I came in with a lot of drama and fanfare. Not only did I accept the teachings of the gospel and felt like a lifelong Mormon, I did it loudly, something of which is not in my nature. A lot of people knew about the problems with my husband not allowing the children to attend and took it in stride. Maybe they’d seen it before…but being that I had been married to this man for ten years and had never been treated this way, it was a tough pill to swallow.

Things in our personal life were starting to unravel and the one person I had always leaned on wasn’t emotionally available to me. I felt stranded.

In August of 2009, I fell into such a deep depression I didn’t get out of bed for two weeks. I had my husband drive me to the hospital and drop me off at the front door. That speaks volumes towards how our relationship was then…it was to such a point I didn’t even want him walking in with me.

I was admitted into the hospital and for eleven days I had to put my faith entirely into Heavenly Father’s hands. I never prayed so hard and so much. My husband saw the visits from members of my ward stop by daily and I saw how this touched his heart. These people barely knew me, yet without judgment and without calling attention to their actions, they loved me enough to visit. They brought dinners to my husband and children. They called. He was overwhelmed with the kindness of strangers and this started the beginning of changing his heart and mind towards the church.

It didn’t happen overnight. There were hurdles and I foresee many more. When I took out my endowments a year in a half later, he wasn’t happy. (Again, major understatement.) He still calls my garments “magic underwear.”

He is still an atheist. We compromised and the children are allowed to attend church when they want to and neither of us are supposed to encourage them either way. I’ll admit this is difficult for me because I know the importance of the Sabbath. Whenever I think how difficult this compromise is…my mind goes back to two years ago and I remember things are a huge improvement.

My husband’s good friends are LDS. When my home teachers visit, he sits and listens to the discussion. The other day when my visit teachers came over, he pulled out the piano bench to listen. I’ve even caught him reading an article or two in the Ensign.

When your spouse doesn’t share your faith, it is a painful burden to carry. Yet, we must remember we all have our own individual spiritual journeys and even though you’re married, you won’t always travel down the same path. I can’t change my husband, nor can I change his heart, only Heavenly Father can and it is in faith and love I turn it over to Him.

When your spouse doesn’t share your faith or believe in God, these words of encouragement will hopefully help you as they have for me:

  • Pray: Prayer is the most powerful weapon to safeguard any marriage, especially one in which there is an unbelieving spouse. Pray and ask God to soften your spouse’s heart and bind the adversary’s control over his/her life. When I pray for my husband, I imagine I’m holding him up for God’s viewing and ask to open my husband’s heart so he can see how real our God is and how much God loves him. Never stop praying. (1 Thess. 5:17)
  • Stay Encouraged, Not Discouraged:Things do not always happen when we want them to occur. Do not get discouraged and give up on your spouse. If I had walked away from my marriage two years ago, I would have missed out on the blessings I have seen regarding my husband’s heart. I believe there are still more to come! You must remember your spouse has free agency and will respond to Heavenly Father’s revelation of his/her own free will.
  • Witness without a Word: Constantly nagging and preaching the Word of God isn’t working, so why not try something different? You can surely bet your spouse is watching you. You can witness without a word by practicing what you preach. Don’t stay home from church to sleep in, read your scriptures, and remember your own conduct and be an example.

  “Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD” ~Psalm 27:14

Take 5 Friday Quick Notes (3)

-1-

Oh look!! It’s Friday again and this is the third installment of my carnival: TAKE 5 FRIDAY QUICK NOTES. No playing members of yet, but I will not be discouraged. I realize the lack of players are mostly due to my lack of commenting on other blogs and not participating in carnivals hosted by other bloggers. I’ve been a blogger for eight years, I know the drill. However, in my defense, reading blogs is a luxury of mine…and one in which I do not like to ‘skim’ or read in haste. Plus, I try to comment in a very considerate manner and sometimes have the same thoughts and feelings as expressed by other commenters which feels redundant when I comment. WHICH let me tell you as a blogger who gets giddy when I receive comments…it doesn’t matter!! Comment on my posts that grab your attention, make  you think, make you angry…happy, sad, etc!

Comment and let me know! 

I will make a goal to participate in carnivals that I find interesting and if you’ve noticed on my sidebar, I’ve already decided on one already. You’ll get the first post later today. 😉

-2-

This weekend, I will be attending the Alaska Writer’s Conference. I have actually never been and have only joined the guild a couple of months ago. I have to tell you…I’m a little nervous. I’ll be attending the conference solo. I am very excited as I booked time with two of the speakers concerning my own writing projects, but this also leaves me with a stomach of fluttering butterflies.

I also find myself nervous about my wardrobe. (As you do.) What does a person wear to these things? ::shrug:: When it doubt…go with sequins and feathered boas. Am I right?

-3-

I found myself saying, “Limit your complaints and count your blessings” to four toddlers today. They did not appreciate the advice and promptly threw themselves down on the ground and screamed. Freaking Drama Queens, I tell you.

-4-

I have found that homeschooling a sixth grader who has the get up and go as a snail to be the most difficult task I’ve ever encountered. The first week there was this sense of ambition and a passion for learning that I thought to myself, “This is going to be awesome! This kid and I make such a great team!”

Fast forward to the third week and he’s sneaking upstairs to nap under his bed when he’s supposed to be reading from his Science book. He’s also having intestinal problems because whenever it is time to do actual school work  he has the immediate and dire urge to use the bathroom which has him in the bathroom for a good hour.

-5-

This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I have purposely avoided the television and reading the news in regards to the anniversary because of how sad it makes me. My youngest son was only three months old and I remember trying to grasp the extreme contradiction of watching individuals jump to their deaths at the same time as I was nursing my infant son. Same planet, two different realms, complex emotions. It was surreal.

I read earlier today that our God is outside of time and so I’ve been praying for not only the survivors of 9/11 but for the victims and peace during their last moments on Earth. It may sound silly…but I like to think that prayers…no matter when uttered…are still powerful.

 

Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own TAKE 5 FRIDAY QUICK NOTES

  1. Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL.
  2. Include a link back here.

 

Take 5 Friday Quick Notes (1)


— 1 —

Fifteen years ago on a hot and humid afternoon at 3:20pm, I gave birth to a 7lb 12oz baby girl in Fort Benning, Georgia. I was nineteen years old and scared to death. When I began having contractions, I remember thinking it was because I ate too much corn on the cob the night before. It wasn’t until my water broke that it dawned on me I was actually in labor.

Fifteen years ago, my life was forever changed…enhanced by this child who has brought me tremendous joy, has driven me crazy, has made me laugh, has made me cry, gives me hugs and gives me migraines. She’s been a blessing and a pain.

Fifteen years ago…I finally understood how amazingly intense and complex love actually is.

Fifteen years ago…I became a Mom for the first time.

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psalm 127:3-5)

— 2 —

It’s only been Day 5 of waking up at 4:45am to have my daughter at Seminary by 6am and all I keep thinking is…”It’s only Day 5.” She’s not complaining and seems pretty happy about attending. However…call me a pessimist…but it is only Day 5.

— 3 —

There are many things occurring in our lives right now including the unexpected roadblocks which had me on the telephone all morning yesterday. I also was finding myself trying to track down paperwork from almost twenty years ago and trying to remember how to speak my birth language: Hillbillynese.

— 4 —

I received a new calling this past Sunday in which I’m in charge of our ward’s bulletin. Having always felt the font on our bulletin was difficult to read, a bit jumbled and confusing, I’ve been working on creating an easier to read bulletin that isn’t causing anyone to strain their eyes. In my ‘research’ (AKA Google) I found this wonderful site that has everything you need to assist you in your church callings. I’m sure many people who have been members for a long time already know about this site…but for us recent converts…this site is fantastic! MormonShare.com

— 5 —

I received a couple of emails from readers (which allow me to say…I LOVE receiving emails from readers of my blogs! I’m tickled of how many readers this site has already accumulated. I’ll blog for comments and emails, people. Really.) who have asked me if I had any book suggestions regarding spirituality and LDS faith that has helped me since my conversion and aided in the conversion itself. With the exception of The Scriptures themselves (which is a total given) here are some of my favorites and must reads:

The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother

Not only does this book give you a sense of who Joseph Smith is as a person, but it also gives you an insight on how difficult it must have been for not only him and his young wife, but also his mother. It strengthen my testimony in knowing Joseph Smith is a true prophet and helped me understand all that he had to suffer and lose to do God’s will.

When You Can’t Do It Alone

I went through a very difficult time after my conversion. A friend had given me this book and it is still a book I turn to every now and then when I need some reminders that I don’t always have to try to do it alone.

“It’s easy to trust in the Lord when everything’s going your way. But what happens when you experience challenges and difficulties that leave you so spiritually exhausted that you can’t see God’s hand in your life? As a newly called mission president, author Brent L. Top experienced a severe emotional and spiritual crisis. Desperate for help, he discovered that knowing where to turn is not enough; we must allow the Savior to rescue us.”

Mere Christianity

This book is an easy read and one of the first books I read after I left the Jehovah Witness organization. It helped me understand true Christianity. “Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations, C.S. Lewis finds a common ground on which all those who have Christian faith can stand together, proving that ‘at the center of each there is something, or a Someone, who against all divergences of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks the same voice.’ “

Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own Take 5 Friday Quick Notes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

My Mission

One of the biggest eye-opening moments for me since my conversion was a conversation I had with Elder J before his transfer. This was over two years ago, but I found myself thinking of that particular day this morning as I drove my daughter to seminary.

The missionaries had been recounting their memory of receiving their mission letter which told them where they’d be serving. I was touched as I heard these two young boys share their excitement and some of their concerns about leaving home and traveling to Alaska for their mission. In a state of envy and moved by my eagerness to share the Gospel, I blurted: “Man! I wish I could have went on a mission!”

I’ll never forget the look on Elder J’s face as he stared at me for a moment before replying with: “But Jaime, you are on a mission.”

I was taken aback. No, I’m not on a mission! Are you kidding me? I was only a few days into my being a baptized member of the Church with an angry husband and some confused friends. No one in my circle was happy for me…and certainly had no intention of listening to me share my testimony with them.

Me? On a mission? The only mission I had ever been told I was on was the mission of driving my husband crazy, which he reminds me of this weekly.

Elder J. explained that whilst my mission wasn’t the mission I was envisioning for myself…a letter with family gathered around in excitement as I read outloud where I’d be traveling…my mission was just as important. If anything, I had to be even more diligent, even more resilient in practicing my faith because my husband-whether he believed it or not-depended on me.

Yes, I was on a mission. I still am. And whilst there are days when I lack the demeanor of a missionary, there are those gentle reminders from The Spirit which urge me to always choose the right. I am driven to be a good example to my family and friends and show humility. It isn’t easy…in fact, I probably fail more than I succeed. Yet, I remain steadfast in my faith. It isn’t that I don’t have my days I’m clouded with doubt and disappointment. I’m still very much a human being with the same faults and complexities as anyone…but I never stop trying to be the best person I can be.

My goal each day is to be a humble missionary to all I come in contact with-not just with words-but with my actions. There will be those days in which I stumble into muddy puddles, but if I do not ‘puddle sit’ and whine about the fact I fell-Heavenly Father will extend His hand and allow me to brush myself off and continue down my path. Showing others my human side with my imperfections, is not being vulnerable and weak, but being true to myself. In this way, I believe people are more apt to hearing my testimony and the truths of the Gospel.

As a missionary…I still have to be true to myself but at the same time I must be diligent in keeping the commandments and remain faithful to my God.

Yep, I’m on a mission. It’s been pretty eventful and the cool thing is…it is only the beginning.

Gratitude Adjustment

After all my daycare kids left, I needed an escape. The noise level in my house today was over the top and apparently today was “Rebellious and Whine Day.”

Who knew?

I hopped in the car and drove with the intent of purchasing a yummy treat which would most definitely put me in a happier mood. However, my escapade turned into anything but tranquil. During the drive, I found myself furious with another driver. This PERSON decided to keep their turn signal on so I thought they were turning. I began to pull out when I realized they were not going to be turning. I slammed on the brakes-barely missing hitting the car with the blinking turn signal.

I was frustrated and scared. I muttered (okay screamed) insults, honking the horn and used some of my best (and most creative) expletives.

When I calmed down I began to drive again. It didn’t take long for guilt to take over. Why was my immediate reaction that of anger and frustration? Shouldn’t my reaction been of relief and gratitude that I didn’t get into a car accident?

~GRATITUDE~

is a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for blessings or benefits we have received. As we cultivate a grateful attitude, we are more likely to be happy and spiritually strong. We should regularly express our gratitude to God for the blessings He gives us and to others for the kind acts they do for us.

In a Presidency Message by President Thomas S. Monson from the February 2000 issue of Ensign he gives us a message of having an “Attitude of Gratitude.” A few of the plagues of our day are selfishness, greed, indulgence and cruelty. He writes that with these poisons we will find ourselves adapting a critical viewpoint equipped with words of complaints and blame. We will begin to see life in a negative light, unable to see the positivity in our lives.

“We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.”  

If there had been someone in the vehicle with me and saw my reaction to barely being involved in a car accident, they would not have been able to see an ounce of love or gratitude in my heart.

As a child of God, I can’t imagine Him not shaking His head and muttering:”Wow. What an ungrateful little brat.”

Gratitude is a state of being, it is something we should continue to cultivate, not just for the big blessings which enter our lives, but also the small ones. How many times during our days do we forget to show gratitude to our family members? Our friends? To our Heavenly Father?

When I seriously thought about the above questions, my heart ached. It is so easy for me to think of all the things I don’t have, all the ill will that has been done to me and all the things that have gone wrong during my day…but the truth is, I rarely express gratitude to God for the good things He’s blessed me with…big or small.

God’s main attribute is love. Having an outgoing expression of love in our hearts for our families and fellow-man, it will be easier to have and express gratitude. He has made each of us in His image so we know it is possible to be grateful and to be loving. (Even for someone as irritable as yours truly.)

Luke 10:15 reads: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

By following Christ’s example and living a life of obedience… we can strive to lift ourselves and others up with an ‘attitude of gratitude.’

The Lord has promised, “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious” (D&C 78:19). Gratitude is an uplifting, exalting attitude. People are generally happier when they have gratitude in their hearts. We cannot be bitter, resentful, or mean-spirited when we are grateful.

We should be thankful for the wonderful blessings that are ours and for the tremendous opportunities we have. We can be thankful to our parents, family, friends, and teachers. We should express appreciation to everyone who has assisted us in any way.

We should thank our Heavenly Father for His goodness to us by acknowledging His hand in all things, thanking Him for all that He gives us, keeping His commandments, and serving others. We should especially thank Him for His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, for the Savior’s great example, for His teachings, for His outreaching hand to lift and help, for His infinite Atonement.

—See True to the Faith (2004), 78–79

Scriptures to Ponder:

Psalm 100:3–4

Luke 17:11-19

Mosiah 2:19-22

Alma 34:38

D&C 59:7


You’re Not Helping

Sometimes I find myself thinking: “I do not have anyone helping me!”

Okay, I kid. It isn’t sometimes…it is practically all the time.

The Husband is a neat freak but lacks organizational skills. I’m pretty relaxed with housecleaning chores in the sense I do not see the need to dust the same piece of furniture five times a day. However, I’m a stickler for having things organized. I like things to be in their place…but with six people living in a small house, that’s not always the case.

Yesterday, I found myself in a mood of frustration. The kids and their friends were in and out of the house, dishes were piled in the sink, none of the kids had done their chores and I had a list of things I needed to do before The Husband got home. I was feeling overwhelmed and I started to whine to God: “I need help!”

Immediately, the thought of a conversation I had with my visiting teacher came forth to my mind.

VT: “Jaime, is there anything I can do to help you?”

Me:”Nope! I’m good!”

The same conversation with different people asking the same question came forth like a slide show with my answer always being the same: “Nope! I’m good!”

And there it is.

The truth hit me hard. It wasn’t that I didn’t have help…it was I wasn’t being humble enough to accept the offers of help given.

Pride and being stubborn were the biggest reasons for my declining help. Believe it or not, I’m a private person when it comes to my space. I’m also a tad of a control freak with a dash of laziness. I have a routine and anything that shifts from this routine or has me giving up control makes me want to climb back in bed and pull the covers over my head.

It dawned on me as I was sweeping my living room for the fifteenth time that day...not because of cleaning OCD but because it truly needed it…that my stubborn inability to delegate and my snobbish pride had been blocking me from receiving the blessings of having help AND preventing others from receiving blessings derived from being able to serve.

Who hasn’t enjoyed the feeling of serving someone and knowing in some small way you have made an impact on their lives in their time of need?

I have denied help from people because I didn’t want to admit I was not ‘Super Woman” and couldn’t do everything on my own.There is also this discomfort when I veer off from my routine, even when it is for my own benefit.

Is it just me or are there others who find they have difficulty asking and accepting help? What ways have you found that has helped you get over it?

Why I’m Mormon

Disclaimer: I am asked with increasing frequency why I converted to Mormonism as opposed to one of the other Christian denominations.  I’m apprehensive about sharing my reasons because I’m quite aware the subject could attract a heated debate. This is not my intention…it is my experience, my story.

Conversion stories can often be interpreted as an implication that ones who have had a different experience and have drawn a different conclusion regarding religion/spirituality/God are wrong. I do not believe this.

____________________________

It all began a few years ago when I became interested about why people chose their religion. I asked the question: “Is God actually leading individuals to their religion?” I couldn’t fathom that the majority of religions had to be wrong in order for one to be right. How could one religion have it perfectly clear and others have it so wrong?

It didn’t make sense to me. It still doesn’t.

I began to quiz my friends.  Each genuine and kind, they offered thought-provoking statements which gave me more food for thought. By then I had been studying different religions for four years and many considered my studies an obsession. Obsessed or not, questions rattled in my brain:

“How does one’s faith be so strong, they do not question their religion or need to seek out other religions? Is this short-sighted? Or is this simply a matter of having a security in one’s faith?”

I had always felt a special bond towards my father when it came to the Catholic Church. I have many beautiful memories of my father taking me to Mass on special holidays. Whether or not, my father was a ‘good’ Catholic is irrelevant in the sense he had some belief the Catholic Church was true. He felt a duty to at least fight for his children to be baptized and felt in good conscience he was saving us from limbo if we were to die as babies.

My grandmother took me to services at the Baptist church every Sunday. The sermons were often the fire and brimstone kind, yet what I remember most was the music. I always felt a certain feeling of goodness with those old southern hymns. Is there anything more moving than hearing Amazing Grace and Just As I Am?

As a child, I remember feeling as if it would be much easier if I could be one or the other: Catholic or Baptist. I felt drawn…in different ways, to both. Yet, couldn’t honestly call myself one or the other. It never seemed honest.

At the age of twenty, I began studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and was baptized at the age of twenty-three. I will not go into that part of my life just yet…it will have to be an entirely different post all together. I left the Witnesses in 2005 after certain life changing events. The questions I had found myself asking were difficult to push aside. I knew I was living a lie by claiming to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It wasn’t anything against them as a religion…it was me. I should have never joined to begin with and I joined for the wrong reasons.

The thing about leaving the Witnesses…is you have to give up friendships and relationships. That had been a main reason why I stayed as long as I did. I’m not disfellowshipped, but I may as well be. The friends I considered family do not talk to me. That was and is difficult. I miss them.

 When I left…I wiped out everything I had ever been taught…I started anew. A clean slate, if you will.

I read, I prayed, I talked, I bugged everyone I knew who had a faith in God and everyone I knew who didn’t.

I talked to a friend of mine during this time who is Catholic and believes that the Catholic Church is the original church founded by Jesus Christ. She explained to me that her church and other religions are governed by humans, therefore they are subject to sin. A relationship with God should be more important than the religion. It is the personal responsibility of the person to make this a priority, not the religion.

That statement changed my entire outlook.

“It is the personal responsibility of the person to make their relationship with God the priority…NOT the religion.”

Another friend during this time I spoke with is a member of the LDS Church. We were talking over lunch one afternoon and I began quizzing her about religion, spirituality and God. She told me she believed in free agency and told me basically the same thing as my Catholic friend: “The relationship you have with Heavenly Father is more important to me than my religion. My religion enhances my relationship with my Father in Heaven, but it isn’t more important.”

 I read the book Free At Last by Larry Huch and marked it with so many notes and highlights, I ended up having to purchase a new copy. The book explains how Christians can break free from their past. It delves into great detail on how one can find freedom from depression, anger, abuse, insecurity and addiction through Jesus Christ. Looking back, it was meant for me to read this book. As someone who was still trying to heal from a disturbed and abusive past, was terribly insecure, had bouts of hostility  and felt broken on the inside…there was no way I could move forward in my spiritual journey without some kind of healing. It was a stepping stone…and I was able to skip happily (although a bit dorky) towards my destination.

My days were spent praying with more belief and more passion than I could have ever thought possible to muster. I delved into more spiritual topics, intent on knowing Jesus my Savior and God my Heavenly Father.

I studied Judaism, but from the Christian standpoint. After all, Jesus was Jewish! I read my Bible with the mindset of the traditions Jesus taught as a Jewish man. I asked my Christian friends, “Why do Christians choose not to celebrate the Jewish Holidays? Why don’t we celebrate Yom Kippur and Passover? Jesus did!” (I still haven’t received a clear answer!)

In my studies, I learned Jesus died to take away the curse, but not the blessings!

Growing up I had a fear of the fire-burning Hell. I never felt good enough to go to Heaven, but was I really bad enough to go to Hell? Yet, what were the options? It was one or the other!

During my many talks with  friends, visiting churches and attending spiritual lectures, I always felt a strong connection. In every single circumstance. BUT, what I wanted was to have that contentment my friends had in their religion. I could feel the Spirit…but not the contentment in joining another religion. Nothing ‘clicked.’ I couldn’t tell you that the pieces of the puzzle were coming together for me.

Not then, anyway.

One afternoon, I was reading the Bible and I was trying to decide which church the kids and I would attend that Sunday. Something prompted me to go  lds.org and before I knew it…I was studying with two missionaries that same week.

As I’m writing this, I texted Jeff, the missionary who studied and baptized me (you can read more about how he is part of my story here) if he could share his thoughts on teaching/studying with me.

This is what he had to say: “You contacted the church the day I got in the area. I really felt the hand of the Lord in it from the beginning…We [his companion, Elder B.] were excited to teach you and shocked a little bit that you had read The Book of Mormon and bought your own quad.”

(To add to his text…not only did I contact the church when he arrived in our area…he was only in our area one transfer. Six weeks…long enough to teach me the Gospel and see me baptized…which he did.)

It was during one of our studies in which something clicked. I can’t even remember what we were talking about, but I clearly remember where we were and how I felt. We were at the church, studying in the Relief Society room. During the conversation, I had this amazing feeling that I had found what I had been looking for. It was this sense of peace…a feeling of exhalation. I wanted to be baptized which shocked the missionaries because they hadn’t even broached the subject of baptism with me yet. I may have been out of their teaching element…but I went with my heart. Everything made sense to me and I knew…without a shadow of a doubt…even with the discord between my husband and I about my joining the church…it was the right thing to do.

I’ve never regretted it.

When I started living my life according to the teachings of the LDS Church…everything seemed to fall into place. Things just worked. Do not misunderstand me… life didn’t get easier. After my baptism, I had a really tough road ahead of me…but there was and still is this powerful contentment that has never left me.

My life has changed profoundly and I can’t imagine not having this gift in my heart, in my soul.

When I enter Church, read my Scriptures, or close my eyes in prayer…I feel content.

I feel at home.

To follow up: Today, my husband is supportive of my being LDS and has close friends who are Mormon. This past Sunday, for no reason at all…he decided to attend church with me. Whilst he still maintains he’s ‘doubtful’ about there being a God…I have seen small miracles taking place in our home and in his heart.