Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Conversion Story, Part 1, In which I meet some cute boys

According to missionary lore, circa 1985, you have to knock on a thousand doors to find one person who will join the church. I was one in a thousand. Elders Jacobson and Munsee, unbidden, unannounced, with no member missionaries to pave the way, knocked on the door.

Elder Jacobson was tall, handsome, and blond. Elder Munsee was taller, handsomer, and dark.

"We're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we'd like to share a message with you."

It was late June, hotter than hell, and I was severely pregnant. I really wasn’t in the mood for visitors, even cute ones. I was uncomfortable, swollen, and didn't have air conditioning. I told them to come back next week, after I'd had the baby.

They came back the next week. The scheduled c-section had been cancelled in favor of a trial labor, so I still had not had the baby and still did not want to talk to them. I recommended mid- to late-August.

In mid-August, they came back. I have since learned that if you tell the missionaries to come back later, they always will. I showed them the baby. They admired the baby and my (now ex-) husband’s record collection. They asked if I had a Bible. I pulled it out and blew off the dust. The blond one coughed lightly, then read aloud the two sticks thing in Ezekial. He told me they had a great message about the purpose of life and asked if they could come back when my (now ex-) husband was around to teach us. They really were cute boys. Also, my six year-old daughter had expressed interest in attending a church. I said yes.

My (now ex-) husband was not interested in taking the discussions, but had no objections to me doing so. The elders and I had a lot of fun visits and some interesting conversations. I enjoyed learning about the church. I liked reading the highlighted/Cliff’s Notes edition of the Book of Mormon. I went to church a couple of times. I attended a convert baptism. Jake gave me a tape of a re-enactment of a talk by J. Golden Kimball. The Relief Society President was stunned when I told her so.

Sometime in September, Jake left, and was replaced by Elder Fox. He was also very cute.

Early in the teaching process, I had made comment about “no way I’m paying 10% of my income to a church.” Jake and Munsee coincidentally stopped teaching real discussions after #4, “The Law of Chastity.” When Fox came on board, he assessed the situation and pressed forward with Discusion #5 – “The Law of Tithing.” There were only six discussions, so we wrapped up pretty soon after Fox’s arrival.

I went to General Conference on TV on a Saturday. I had a nice conversation after the session I attended with my junior high school algebra teacher. The elders were impressed that I knew him. Seems he was in the stake presidency.

Within a few days I asked how I would know when I was ready to be baptized. The guys said, “You’re ready.”

I replied, “I dunno. I'll have to think about it. I’ll let you know.”

Coming in Part 2: Figuring it out.


nee said...

Must be something in the air. I'm working on blogging my spiritual journey. I'm not up to meeting the missionaries yet. A couple days ago I finished part 3 which was about lutheran confirmation. lol

I turned away the elders who knocked on my door. Maybe if they'd been cuter I would have told them to come back. lol But I was curious and months later visited the church.

Looking forward to reading your next installment.

Ann said...

This is more a snapshot of a place I went, than an account of a journey.

I'll bet you can't guess how it ends!

nee said...

I can't but I'll be impressed if it was more exciting than my ending which includes an arrest (no, not mine!), the court system (church and civil), and other "fun" moments.

Anonymous said...

Now that you both have us hanging I can't wait to hear more from both Ann and Nee's conversion stories. Please continue.

Stephen said...

I'm enjoying this.

Of course I'm hoping, that in the end, Ned's story will end with his coming back ... and I hope your story ends with you walking in peace, in the light, filled with love.