It’s been almost a year since I got baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I still remember my baptism like it was yesterday. I come from a family where we were all baptized Catholic but as soon as we hit 12,15, and 16 we stopped going to church. Growing up, I was taught that Mormons were weird, good people, but weird and had a stupid religion. That was pounded in my brain by mom and that’s what I believed.
When I hit 18 I wanted to start going back to church but I definitely did not want to go back to Catholic church. Nothing against the Catholic church, it was my life for 12+ years, it wasn’t my cup of tea. So I began going to this youth group called “Younglife” and it was SO much fun! They played games, did skits, and had a talk about Jesus. I really liked it but the thing that bugged me for some reason was that they “had a relationship with God” not a religion. I still went to younglife and another youth group called “Campaigners” which was more about God and talked about more religious stuff. For some reason when I went I didn’t really feel right, something was telling me to not go back. So my quest for a church continued.
In March of 2012 I Imed my friend and I told her I needed to tell her something. I told her I wanted to go to church with her and see what the LDS church is about. Her response was more than enthusiastic. She had been trying to get me to go to church with her for months. So we planned a night that I could spend the night and go to church with her in the morning. My parents, knowing they her and her family were Mormon, asked if I was going to church with her in the morning. I lied and said no because I knew they wouldn’t like, especially my mom.
The next morning I was SO nervous to go to church. What if people were mean or didn’t like me or something. After sacrament meeting people came up to me right and left asking me questions and I had no clue how to answer them. I went to Sunday School and Young Womans with my friend and everyone was so welcoming and nice. After church, my friend asked me how I liked and I couldn’t describe it. I felt so peaceful and happy there. I didn’t go every week after that, but I went a few times more until I decided I should go to my ward.
My parents began noticing I was going to church so they were a bit suspicious on what church I was going to. So I lied and said I was going to this one called Eastlake. The first time I went to my home ward I shook more hands than I have in my entire life. But people were SO nice and SO welcoming so I was glad to be back. The third or fourth time I went back I FINALLY met one of the missionaries. They split between two wards so I first met Elder Miles. Jeff introduced me to him and the first thing Elder Miles said to me was “Shea, we’ve been looking for you.” That definitely creeped me out, but I didn’t mind. Later that night I had my first discussion with Elder Miles and Elder Winters at my friend Madison’s house.
I took all my discussions within a month and was ready to get baptized in May of 2012. I knew for a fact I was doing the right thing, every time I went and met with the missionaries the spirit from them, my friend and her family just comforted me. At this time, I still didn’t tell my parents about my baptism because knowing my mom she would have ruined the day in anyway possible. So I had a reason to my madness.
On the day of my baptism, I was more excited than I have been for anything. I was also super nervous. All my friends told me stories of how they had to be double dunked and that freaked me out for some odd reason. When I got to the church I took a second and just prayed, I don’t remember what for but I just remember praying. Jeff, he did the baptismal ordinance and it was probably the best thing ever. Even though I had to get double dunked, which was all my fault. But after, I felt so clean and pure. The emotions were running high and I couldn’t contain myself. My day was perfect and I have never once regretted getting baptized. It’s been the biggest blessing ever and I’m so happy to be a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Elder Miles, Me, Jeff, Elder Winters