SHINING MOMENTS: Talking with his feet

For Miklos Kremser, playing soccer has been as much a spiritual experience as athletic. As a 23-year-old player from Hungary, his feet have opened doors of opportunity to bear his testimony to teams on two continents.

Miklos met the missionaries in 1991 and investigated the Church for three years. He kept the commandments, attended meetings and lived like a member, but had not joined the Church. A missionary in his hometown of Srombathely finally confronted him: "Miklos, you have a testimony. Why haven't you joined the Church?"He thought about it, and decided to be baptized.

At the time, Miklos played soccer professionally in Hungary's third division in Kormend. He wondered how his new religion would be accepted among teammates who considered religion a relic from the days of their grandparents.

He braced himself for jokes and jeers, but instead found that his teammates respected him. Some wished they could be like him. Others attended meetings, several heard missionary discussions. Most have since turned to him for answers about life.

When he was accepted to attend BYU, he packed his bags and turned his back on a promising soccer career to come to a school he had never seen before, and join a soccer program he knew nothing about.

As it turned out, his quick footwork and sharp passing skills carved up opposing defenses and helped lead BYU to the National Collegiate Club Soccer Championship held in Austin, Texas, last November.

He was part of a team that consisted of 10 returned missionaries and seven freshmen that earned a 22-1-3 record. His sacrifice of professional possibilities didn't go unnoticed by the freshmen, said BYU soccer coach Chris Watkins, who believes Miklos' example helped influence the freshmen to hang up their soccer boots for missions. Since the season ended, all freshmen have received mission calls.

"Miklos and the returned missionaries are strong in the Church, and are such good people," he said. "They helped develop the younger players in skill, and especially as people."

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