Sunday, December 22, 2013
Dear Family, (Elder Holt’s Weekly Letter)
I know I have written about Cindy and her progression as she accepted the Gospel, but her story is very unique and I wanted to detail her conversion for you. These dates and events I have taken from my missionary journal.
HIn August of 2013, a young single mother of five small children, moved into her mother’s home. We met Stephanie at Church. She explained that she had been baptized in South Carolina in July of this year. We asked her if she had received the new member discussions. She had not, so we asked her if we could teach them to her because we know how important these lessons are for the retention of new members. We scheduled the first lesson for October 11, 2013.
We taught her the first lesson and her mother, Cindy sat in on the lesson. Afterwards, we scheduled the next lesson for October 14th. Between these lessons, Cindy talked to her husband, Marshall about what she had learned. Marshall is very much against the Church and talked to his Baptist Pastor about us and received a lot of Anti-Mormon information. Marshall shared that with Cindy. This time as we taught Stephanie, Cindy was in another room. Near the end of the lesson, Cindy walked into the room. She vehemently, verbally attacked us and the Church especially over polygamy, and accused us of being liars. Sister Holt was frightened, but I remained calmed and finally was able to get her to calm down too. I explained the Church’s beliefs on polygamy and she seemed to accept it. Then Sister Holt said, “Cindy, your daughter has joined our Church. Don’t you owe it to her and yourself to find out what the Church teaches from representatives of the Church? We have lessons that teach the basic beliefs of our Church. Would you like to take them?” She agreed and we scheduled a time to start teaching her. She explained that she was a devout Pentecostal, had spoken in tongues, loved the Savior and was very vocal in her praise of him.
Our first discussion was on October 17th. We taught her about the Apostasy, the Restoration, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. There was a good Spirit there and she seemed to accept it. She also told us about a problem with her Pastor at her Pentecostal Church and that she had been praying that the Lord would direct her to another Church. We assured her the Lord had sent us to her. We continued to teach her and she came to Church with her daughter, Stephanie for the first time on October 27th. Cindy has some sight problems and does not drive, so we were concerned about her Church attendance when Stephanie moves out. Cindy lives about ten miles from the Church on a county road. Also, we ordered a large print copy of the Book of Mormon for her.
Cindy had been sick, so we were unable to teach her for several weeks. Then we taught her on November 21st, and took one of our ward members, Lisa, with us. During the lesson, Cindy explained that she had been reading the Book of Mormon and praying. She felt good about what she was learning, but had not received an answer to her prayers. She explained that because she was a Pentecostal, she had felt the Spirit before and was expecting something stronger to happen to her. I was very concerned about what she was expecting, yet we continued with the lesson. Near the end of our lesson, we showed her a five minute video on the Organization of the Church. The Spirit was very strong during the video, and Cindy began crying. After it was over she exclaimed, “This is true! It’s true! It’s really true! I want to serve in this Church.” It was a great privilege for Sister Holt, Sister Lisa and I to be there and witness the Spirit confirm to this sweet woman the truthfulness of the Gospel. Lisa told her she too had been a Pentecostal before joining our Church, and she bore a sweet and powerful testimony. We hadn’t realized she was raised as a Pentecostal, and it was a wonderful witness to us, that asking her to join us was pure inspiration! Lisa asked if she could give her a ride to Church, since her daughter Stephanie had moved out, and to join her in singing in the choir. Cindy was thrilled! And our problem of how to get her to church was settled.
Sunday, December 1st was Fast and Testimony meeting. Cindy was there and near the end of the meeting, she stood up and walked to the stand. Sister Holt and I turned white for fear of what she would do, considering her Pentecostal background. But, much to our relief and joy, she bore a sweet and simple testimony of the Gospel, explained that she was learning about the Church from the Holt’s and asked everyone to pray for her. Our next lesson was on December 3rd. We challenged her to be baptized and she accepted. Because of a severe ice storm, Church was cancelled on December 8th. So we moved her baptismal date forward a week.
On Saturday, December 21, 2013, it was my privilege and honor to baptize Cindy Ann into the Church. Her husband Marshall came to the Baptismal service. We have met with him twice and he seems friendly, but Cindy said that he is very much opposed to the Church. We believe over time and with her example, his heart will soften toward the Church.
Today December 22, 2013 she was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by Bishop Stewart, and was given the gift of the Holy Ghost! After Relief Society, Sister Holt asked Cindy how she felt. With shining eyes she said she knew the Lord had sent us to her home, to answer her many prayers to find a church! Then she added that she felt wonderful! Just wonderful!
Posted by Bonnie at 7:36 PM