Sometimes I look back on the past two years of being a member and wonder “how the heck did I make it!?” But then I remember three things: I have an awesome support system from friends and a wonderful ward family, all the missionaries I have are money, and I have the knowledge that this IS the true church and I have a wonderful and loving Heavenly Father looking down on me and being so pleased with the decision I made.
For recent converts to the church I know it’s difficult changing your lifestyles to church standards. I know you might lose some friends and family members might shun you. But honestly, it’s worth it in the end. For me losing like 4 friends wasn’t that big of a deal for me because I know I was doing the right thing and if they didn’t like it oh well. The hardest part was definitely having some family members not so happy. If I didn’t have an awesome second family (Stong Family:)) and the support of my ward family I wouldn’t have ever made it to a year.
Being the only member has made me so much stronger. I have to have my own scripture study, say prayers by myself, go to church by myself, and do my own family history. All those things has made me appreciate the church SO much more. At first it was difficult to get into the groove of things but once you get a habit going it just gets easier.
I think I’ve mentioned this talk before but if I haven’t here ya go. In October 2006 Elder Pieper gave a talk addressed to first generation converts. Probably my favorite talk in the history of the world times 900. In the talk Elder Pieper says “Being a first-generation member of the Church is not always easy. You will walk where no one in your family has walked before. Conditions around you may be challenging. You may have few, or no, friends or relatives to understand and support you. At times you may become discouraged, wondering if it is all worth it.” That’s probably my favorite quote from the talk and it’s SOOOO true. Every convert goes through a hard patch in the beginning. Some might be a bit more challenging than others but no matter what it still isn’t fun to go though. But it IS WORTH IT!!! NEVER EVER EVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU THAT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IS STUPID! You’ve made one of the best decisions in the world. The gospel of Jesus Christ brings soooo much joy to your life and I can testify that. I’ve never been happier. When you go through those tough times you just have to remember that you have a LOVING, CARING, and GRACIOUS Heavenly Father who loves you so much and he wouldn’t give you a trail you couldn’t handle.
I love this church. I love being a convert and being able to learn about the church. I love my Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for Joseph Smith for restoring the true church and for all the prosecution he went through just so we could have this gospel. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!