“The Right Place for Me,” Liahona, Oct. 2006, 42–43
I have heard the account many times of the arrival of the pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley under the direction of Brigham Young. Although I live in Mexico, my own story is similar. I had been praying to find the true Church and the purpose of my life. A friend of mine, Sandro, introduced me to the missionaries, and soon I was listening to their message. One day while they were teaching me about the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days, I was suddenly filled with a great joy. I knew I had arrived, or as President Young said: “This is the right place. Drive on.”
But just like the pioneers, I had to adapt to the place where I had arrived. It was a world unknown to me—wonderful, but unknown. The way people dressed, the way they talked, the way they acted were all new to me. I didn’t always understand the meanings of the phrases commonly used in the Church. For example, when talking to people who had been members for longer than I had, they might talk about someone whom they described as a “powerful member,” meaning someone who was righteous and a good example to others. My idea of power was different. These things were common knowledge to the rest of them, but I had to learn them.
This period of transition from investigator to active member was not easy. Fortunately, like the pioneers, I was never alone. Sandro and other understanding members were always close by to answer my questions, simple as they were, and to guide me on the path I had undertaken. My leaders were concerned enough to see that I remained worthy and received the priesthood, and later I was able to serve as a counselor to the bishop. My teachers always took care to see that I was nourished by the good word of God. I realize now that through these good people, the Lord helped me stay strong in the Church.
I am no longer the only member of the Church in my family. And the years I have spent as a member of the Church—two of them as a missionary—have been wonderful.
Thanks to the Lord and His prophet, President Young, the pioneers were able to establish themselves in the Salt Lake Valley and become a powerful people in the mountains. Great men and women made this possible. In like manner I have received what I needed to remain strong in the Church, to progress, and to have an opportunity to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father.