Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sarah's Baptism

When I first came into this mission, I was introduced to the idea of passing out sheets to other missionaries here asking them to give us a name of a friend from home who could use the gospel in their life. So I would go around with my companions seeking referrals from missionaries. I realized that a great source would be to go to my old teachers, chat with their class for a bit and then get a few referrals at once. And besides, it would be nice to chat with my teachers again. One day I went to one of the classes and received a few referrals from different missionaries. Many of the missionaries would include information about their friend to help us understand them a little better and help us know what we could teach them. Most of the referrals I got that day were the same way. But one of the ones I got just had a name and the city that she was from. For some reason I was very skeptical of this referral and didn't think anything would happen with it. But I sent her a message on Facebook just like all of the others and waited for a response.

And the surprising thing is that it actually came! She was the first one to actually respond to one of the emails that I sent out. At first she didn't want to meet with us online, but after a little coaxing and persuading I was somehow able to get her to agree to try it out once. Then once turned into twice. And twice into thrice. Then before any of us realized it, we were having lessons twice a week and she was meeting with her local missionaries!

Now for her part of the story!

Since I got contacted by Elder Tucker, my life has been changed forever. He and his companions and the sister missionaries started teaching me of the gospel of Jesus Christ 5 months ago, which I had already had an understanding of somewhat. But, after being taught in the way I did. Things had come out in a different light. And I gained a new understanding of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel.

 I was born into a polygamous family. Now I know what many people think. But I loved my childhood, I loved my family and I still do. They mean the whole world to me. My parents have taught me many valuable things about life. They never forced me to do anything and I was always allowed to make my own decisions, up to a certain extent of course. And like many teenagers, I made many wrong decisions. Many, I would give anything to go back and change. Later on, I grew up and got married at 20. I was sublimely happy. Everything was perfect and all my hopes and dreams were coming true. I had the perfect husband and we started out right away and I was pregnant with our little girl. But there were complications with the labor and I had severe eclampsia. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a condition where your blood pressure rises to a really scary and fatal height, your body swells up and you pass out frequently. Although I had none of these signs until the 2nd day into my labor. And in severe eclampsia, which I had, I started having seizures which prolonged the labor and eventually my body gave up and I passed out and stopped breathing and my heart had stopped. My aunt, who is an NP was there, started doing rescue breathing and heart resuscitation. By the time they had done an emergency cesarean my baby was already gone. Although they were able to save me, there are days when I wish I could have just gone with her. After that, things between my husband and I got worse. There was always tension. We grieved in different ways and started getting into arguments about meaningless little things. Between that and many other issues, I started doubting my faith. I was mad at God, I was mad at my husband, and I was mad at myself. I left a year after my daughter was born. And I started talking to an old friend who had just moved back from California to get ready to leave for his mission which, ironically, he got called to California. We talked about his faith a little bit and I was interested in it, but never really did anything about learning more about it. When he left to the MTC he referred Elder Tucker to me, who sent me a message on Facebook. When I first read it I thought nothing of it and went on with life. A week or so later, I was going through all my messages and deleting them and I came across his message again. After I read it a second time I noticed he had said that my missionary friend told him about me. So I messaged him back asking who he was and why he contacted me.

 Now back to the main purpose of this story, I started talking with Elder Tucker and Elder Fallentine who was his companion at the time. Everything they taught me I already had the basic understanding of. And they asked me to set a date for baptism. Which I didn't feel like I wanted to at all. I wasn't ready for it, and I wanted to make sure that what I was doing was right before I dived into it. So they kept talking with me. And by this time Elder Tucker got a new companion, who was Elder Hathaway. And eventually they asked me again if I wanted to be baptized, but I still didn't feel comfortable with it yet. They asked me to keep praying, and keep praying. So I did. I prayed, read the scriptures. Read talks from President Monson. Over and over I did this and never got any kind of confirmation on the things that I had been praying about. So I kept praying and finally the sisters i had been meeting with asked me if I wanted to be baptized. I sat there for a second and before I knew what I was doing I had answered "Yes". And this awesome feeling of happiness and joy came over me. But I still had yet to gain a testimony of the living prophet, President Monson. The missionaries kept working with me. And finally, one day I was re-reading a talk by President Monson from last Octobers Conference. And right in the middle of it, I felt this wonderful feeling of peace and calm and love and understanding. And right then I knew. I knew it was all true. There were some issues with the interview process because of my background. But things went smoothly and in no time we were able to set a date for my baptism before General Conference. Everything went well and that morning as I was driving to the institute at the U, I started getting really nervous, and like I always do when I get nervous I stopped breathing. After calming myself down I walked into the building and I instantly felt a little calmer. As I stood there, my mind just went completely blank and words from a song came to me. It's not a religious song by any means, but it fits so well. The lyrics are from Avril Lavigne's song Innocence. "This innocence is brilliance. I hope that it will stay. This moment is perfect. Please don't go away. I need You now." Everything finally got started and went really great. And finally it was time. I stood at the steps of the font with every thought possible racing through my mind. But as I looked down at Elder Tucker smiling in the font I was able walk down those couple steps with confidence. We were in place and I went out to grab his hands and as soon as I did. I felt the most awesome feeling that had me on the verge of tears and I started shaking. And then it finally happened! The next day, I got confirmed during sacrament. And as the bishop was giving me my blessing I started crying yet again. After being confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost my life has been amazing! I am always happy, always excited about everything! I felt a difference almost immediately. I could think clearly and the feelings I feel I can't even explain how awesome it is.

After talking with Elder Tucker, Elder Hathaway, Sister Maurer and Sister Loketi for 4 months I have become very good friends with them and they mean a lot to me. I am very blessed to have them in my life.

It was such a great experience and blessing for me to be able to teach Sarah and even to get to baptize her! It has been amazing to see the gospel change her and see the joy that has come into her life! She is great and so is this gospel! :)


  1. Wonderful story!!! That is one of my fears is that I will embarrass myself by crying at either my baptism or my confirmation, or both. But I guess there is nothing wrong with it. :)

  2. Um can I be friends with Sara? She is such an amazing person. I loved reading about her experience-in her words. I wish she lived by me so we could be friends!