Missionary moments: New life ahead

In 1985, I was an investigator to the Church. At the time, I was only 13 years old and, of course, was still living at home with my parents.

At the time, I was interested in joining the Church, but my parents were very active in another church, and due to the distance we lived from the nearest ward, it was difficult for them to drive me to the meetings.For the next few years, my life and the lives of my family seemed to just fall apart; no one could understand why.

In 1992, we moved to Marathon, Fla., and I would see LDS missionaries riding their bikes throughout town. One night while I was at work, the missionaries came to visit a member there.

One of the missionaries, Elder Bart Lawes, stopped me in the hallway and asked me if I would be interested in hearing a message he had to share.

Of course, I answered.

We went out on the patio, and he, with his companion, taught me my first discussion. During the next week, they were having transfers. Elder Lawes told me that he would send the next two missionaries to me.

For two weeks, no one came. I figured that the Church just wasn't meant for me.

Then Elder Lawes himself came back to the area with a new companion and taught me my next five discussions.

On May 17, 1992, I was baptized by Elder Lawes. My old life was behind me, and my new life was ahead. After my baptism, Elder Lawes encouraged me to grow spiritually strong so some day I would be able to serve a mission.

Since my baptism, I have held callings in the Church as Sunday School president, elder's quorum president and ward clerk.

Today, I am serving in the California Carlsbad Mission. I began my mission June 9, 1993.

What a great example Elder Lawes was to me. How grateful I am to the Lord that He sent this special missionary, Bart Lawes, into my life. Today, Elder Lawes is a member of the Centerville 8th Ward, Centerville Utah Canyonview Stake.

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