So when I was 10, my family moved, same town just a different street. I had grown up on a
pretty busy road and so there wasn’t really a neighborhood and I couldn’t really just hang out with friends in the area. So when we moved I was super excited to be in a neighborhood. I found the first house that had bikes in the front yard and I just went ahead and introduced myself. There was always something so special about this large family down the street. I could just tell they were different from mine. They had so much love and happiness. There was a family of 7 and the mom was always involved. She was at every sporting event, recital, club activity, etc. My family was in the midst of divorce so I wanted to spend all my time with this special family. They had something I wanted.
I went to so many activities with them growing up. I had no idea I was really going to Young Women’s activities. I just knew they belonged to a church and I enjoyed being there. I loved that my neighbors kept me included without crossing my mom’s lines. She was never into religion and I am so grateful my neighbors respected that boundary of my mom’s. I think without that, I wouldn’t be here.
Almost 3 years ago, my neighbor stopped by with a copy of the Book of Mormon for my grandma. She just felt like she needed to bring it over. She had never brought it over before. My grandma was not interested at all but I was home so she invited me to her Book of Mormon class. I was in the middle of finishing my Master’s and teaching both in the classroom and at a dance studio. I was pretty strapped for time. But she knew I was home during her class, being neighbors and all, and she offered me some snacks in between working and classes. I couldn’t say no to snacks. If you learn anything from today it’s that you can covert people with snacks.
I started going over to my neighbor’s house every week for the Book of Mormon class. I loved it. I was hooked. I felt so good every single time. I thrived in it. I couldn’t stop reading the Book of Mormon.
I started meeting with the missionaries and had even set a baptism date. Then one of those missionaries went home and a new one was transferred in. During the time I was doing the Book of Mormon class and meeting with the missionaries, I had met Alex. Things got pretty serious pretty fast. One of the missionaries wasn’t really keen on how close Alex and I were and that put an end to my missionary meetings. Plus, Alex was the most anti-religious person I had ever met. So the choice was either continue to meet with the missionaries and lose Alex or I chose Alex.
I think we all know I chose Alex and I know that Heavenly Father was guiding me in that choice. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us after what has happened in the last year and a half.
Almost a year had passed before either Alex or I had mentioned the church and the missionaries again. One night he randomly brought up meeting with them, so without making it a big deal to him I text the missionaries and set up a meeting.
I was baptized only 3 or 4 weeks later. Alex, the one who’s idea it was to meet the missionaries, needed some more work. He joined the church just a few weeks later. It has made all the difference.
I can tell you there is a major difference between my marriage before the church and after.
I never in a million years would have guessed my husband, the most anti-religious man on the planet, would be a Priesthood holder. I never would have imagined that we would have gone to the temple together.
Just about a month ago, we received our own endowments. What an amazing experience. It was so cool to be with some close friends and my husband. The temple is eternal and I am so thankful for that promise.
We are currently preparing for our own Sealing. In just 10 days, we’ll be starting our own eternal family. I am just so beyond thankful for the blessings of the temple. I am just so thankful that when we say forever, it actually means forever. It is such a blessing to know that our Heavenly Father knows each and every one of us so well. He knew exactly what Alex and I needed to be able to meet, fall in love and begin our own eternal journey. I know that everything that has happened in my life and his has led us to this point. I am so grateful for the Gospel and the truth, peace and happiness it brings to families.