Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Testimony Tuesday- Olivia's Story
I am 18 years old. For 18 years and 8 months I attended my parents’ church. We went every Sunday and often had family bible studies. Being close to the Lord was (and still is) very important to my mother and she did well instilling this love in me.
When I was about 14 I started to neglect my relationship with God. I made it a chore to read scriptures and pray and over the years quit altogether. Of course I was still going to church and all, but honestly I was just doing what I was supposed to do, going through motions. There were times I attempted to rebuild my relationship but over and over I failed. This had somewhat of an effect on my high school years. But, I know that God was still watching over me and directing my paths, because after a terrible freshman year, I changed schools and made friends. There are three friends in particular that stand out because they have been a great support in my life and all play a big role in how I have come lay the foundations to build my testimony.
I was first introduced to the church by two of my friends who are LDS. They invited me to church events and even church services. I am grateful for that because I came to learn what the LDS church really was despite myths I had heard. I went to the annual Trunk or Treat at my friends’ family ward twice, but I did not attend a Sunday service until my friend, Iver, was doing his farewell talk. To make a long story short the spirit was definitely strong in the service and I was amazed by the sincerity. That is what really sparked my interest in the church. That summer I went away to New York for a summer program. I attended two Sundays at a meeting house nearby and that only caught more of my attention. This time, I was drawn in by the lives of some young members I met; Jane a law student, Katie a dance student, and a pair of sister missionaries. They were very sure about where they were going in life and about their faith; they did not believe or go to church because their parents told them to. They had their own faith which is something I did not have. When I went back home everyone was gone to school and on missions. I had to defer a semester; however looking back it might be lucky I did. During that time I was able to meet with Elders in Denver at The Johnson’s house and I was even luckier to have two pairs of missionaries and also my friend Shakira and her parents to learn with. When I started to pray about the Book of Mormon and the truthfulness of the church, I began to receive many answers, not just about the church. The fact that I once again wanted to pray and read scripture assured me there was something true about this Gospel. I had not planned to get baptized as soon as I did, but I know that it was the right thing to do. My baptism and confirmation were very special to say the least. I was grateful to have my parents there and my good friend Ashleen to support me. I could not have had a better service with the wonderful talks. As I attend sacrament, and other ward activities, I continuously find the blessings, from the covenants I made. I am confident in the truthfulness of the church and so thankful for the people in my life that helped me to find it. (That includes E. LeeMaster and other online missionaries. They are wonderful indeed).