Describe your first visit to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- I recollect a distinct impression as one filled with a sense of “coming home” when I was introduced to members of the local congregation for the first time. I never felt entirely comfortable or fulfilled with any other organization of involvement during my life in the way I experienced during my initial visit to Church. Being shy and socially awkward during my life made it difficult to engage groups of various sizes and many types of individual people. The moment I set foot in the Church building, those feelings and lingering effects of past experiences melted away like frost on a new spring day. My heart was filled with joy and an inexpressible attachment to people I had never met.
What were your initial impressions of the missionaries? How did that change over time?
- Perceived notions of raving preachers with doomsday delusions danced in my mind before the first visit to the extent I coordinated that meeting at my friend’s home. Expectations were somewhat unfavorable due to my disdain of organized religion, yet life had humbled me enough to exercise even a small particle of faith, even if it was surrounded by doubt and a need to affirm for certain it was founded. However, when I entered my friend’s home and saw two meek “boys” as I thought of them at the time, I soon realized how imagined my thoughts were compared to reality. As the ice of unfamiliarity was broken with the Elders, I felt a burning in my heart akin to a joy I never knew. They felt like family in no time. Skepticism and hesitation soon gave way to immense enthusiasm for their message and its profound impact on altering the very fabric of my life in ways I had never thought possible in such a short period of time.