“Converted to the Gospel—and a Mission,” Ensign, Sept. 2011, 25
I grew up in the Church and had always planned on serving a mission. Yet as the time for me to serve approached, I longed to have a powerful conversion experience of my own such as I heard other people talk about when they described joining the Church.
I knew that leaving on a mission would require sacrifices. I had a good job that paid well, and I wondered if I would be able to find one as good upon my return. I worried about interrupting my education and leaving family and friends. But I knew deep down that serving a mission was right, so I continued to prepare.
As part of that preparation, I went with the elders in my area to their teaching appointments. One evening the missionaries and I were teaching a man about the Word of Wisdom, but he would not accept the principle. When we left his home, I could tell that the elders were discouraged, and I felt sad too.
I wasn’t sure why I should be sad though, because I didn’t really know this man. I kept thinking about it, and I realized that I had these feelings because I had felt the Spirit during the lesson. I was saddened that this man had rejected something that had brought me so much joy.
With that thought I realized I was truly converted. I knew the gospel was true, and I couldn’t wait to share it. I was soon called to serve in the Italy Rome Mission.
I was blessed abundantly for the sacrifices I had made in preparing for my mission. I taught the gospel to many wonderful people, I made lifelong friends, and I learned English. The blessings continued after my return home. I was hired at the same job I had before my mission and even received a promotion.
Perhaps the greatest blessing, however, was an increased testimony of the gospel. My mission was a period of unparalleled spiritual growth, for which I will always be grateful.