I’ve mentioned this before, but we finally received our new Missionaries last week. With these two I’ve managed to expand the “Elder Alphabet” without any repeats. Last Thursday we welcomed Elder T and Elder L. Elder T is from Idaho and Elder L comes from the Marshall Islands. This is very interesting to me. One is experiencing something very similar to what he’s used to, except we have corn instead of potatoes. And the other gets to return to the South Pacific after he is done. This area is great, I love it hear, but I don’t think I would mind going back to some island life. My favorite quote/joke about our area comes from Ichiro during an interview. He was asked what his favorite “American” joke was and he said; (joke has been cleaned up for obvious reasons)
Busch Stadium [St. Louis] in August is hotter than two squirrels [hugging] in a wool sock.
So, at least they have the Fall/Winter time ahead to look forward to. With the arrival of new Missionaries usually comes all the same questions, especially if you’re a convert like me. When was your baptism? What is your favorite scripture? Anyone else in your family a member? What do they think about you being a member? And my favorite to answer, “How did you first come in contact with the Church?” I’ve answered this one so many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever wrote it all down. Here is my conversion story, or at least as much as I can remember.
My Bruddah is a member of the Missouri National Guard, and has been for ten years now. For a time, a few years ago, he was a member of the Utah National Guard. You see, he works on helicopters for a living. In order for him to do so back then he had to move to Utah. He was in Utah for around a year and developed many friendships with members of the Church. One particular guy is a photographer, a really good one too. (I need to see about using some of his pics for this blog) This photographer just happened to work for my Bruddah while he was in Utah, and we believe he may be the one responsible for calling our home town Missionaries when my Bruddah decided to move back here. They came over and helped them all unload and unpack their stuff. I don’t think they came in time for the big stuff, but they came for long enough, to keep coming back. For a while Bruddah worked nights and I watched his family while he was away. I lived just across the street from them. This is when I had my first run in with the Missionaries. No one liked to answer the door when they came around, so that left me to do it. They often mistook me for Bruddah, but I set them right several times. The first time I answered the door wearing a shirt that said God Hates Religion. The elder that ended up giving me my first lessons was the one in front of me on this day. He looked up and said “Nice shirt. We were just talking about that the other day.” I told them when they could come back and that was the last time I saw them, until…
From Unknown Lost Soul to Brother Jon
For a while I had been drinking myself to death, or at least it seemed. I needed a change and I knew it, I just didn’t know how to bring it about. I was a bit of a recluse. I would stay in my apartment surfing the net on my phone and watching dvd’s. I was becoming a horrible member of the Jaycees, mainly because I didn’t really care anymore. It was getting to the point that each time I got just drunk enough, I would end up telling someone – anyone how much of a problem I had, and how I didn’t know how to fix it. This was almost every night. I was becoming increasingly more depressed and that just added fuel to the drunkard fire. But at least I had my Bruddah back home. We talk, about pretty much everything. He was a punk when we were younger, but has turned out okay over the last few years. He was my bridge from Lost Soul to Found Saint.
One day I was sitting in my apartment, playing around on Facebook when I saw something my niece, at the time, posted. It said something to the effect of OMG! I can’t believe my step-dad let the Hot Missionaries come inside the house! I saw this and had a similar reaction. Why did he let them in? I decided to check it out and headed across the street. I walked in and sat down, as I usually did. Bruddah introduced me to both of the young men and I took a seat, and lit up a smoke. I guess I wanted them to know that I wasn’t there for their help. Bruddah had told them all about me, so they knew the best way to approach the situation, I guess. Elder W asked “So, are you Religious?” to which I replied with a head shake and what I believed was an adequate “NO”. That was it. They went into several non-Church related questions like what do you do, what kind of music do you like, what is your favorite movie, and so on. This first visit showed me that they were just two regular guys, kids, out trying to help and make a difference.
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. ~ Acts 17: 27-28
Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers. ~ Doctrine and Covenants 112: 10
Stay tuned for part two of what might turn into a great trilogy. Click here for A Conversion Story – Part 2