Missionary moments: Toward conversion

In the fall of 1995, we moved to Cookville, Tenn. While unloading our things on our first day there, our neighbor got upset about our cat getting into her garbage. About that time, a group of women came walking through the neighborhood. One of them noticed me and invited me to come on their walk. Normally, I wouldn't do this but I felt I needed to, so the next morning I went along.

I began walking every day. These ladies talked a lot about churches. One of them, Mary, had already joined a lot of churches and wasn't happy. She would say, "I'm done with church." Eventually all of the ladies dropped off until it was just Mary and me. She began having questions and every morning I'd talk to her. When I'd say, "You need the missionaries," she would say, "Oh, no; oh, no. I don't want anything to do with that."

One day the conversation turned to her grandfather and I said, "I know a great place you can find out something about your relatives." I took her to our family history center once and from then on she was there every week. Working and speaking with the people there caused her to have many questions. Though she still refused to have the missionaries, she would say, "If I need to know anything I'll just ask you."

One morning she asked, "Is it true? You don't drink coffee or anything like that?" I explained the Word of Wisdom and she said, "Oh, I could never do that." The next morning she said, "Well, I gave up coffee today."

A few days later I told her I was leaving on vacation and she said, "I've got to be baptized before you go. I just have to." I told her you can't just "be baptized" before you take the discussions from missionaries. I told her she needed to call the missionaries. Somehow, I felt that if she made the effort, she wouldn't fall away. She came to our house for the lessons and was later baptized. She has been faithful ever since.

Although her time with the missionaries was brief, she had been learning for 10 months. I didn't press her, but answered questions and explained how things were done in the Church. I learned that sometimes (conversion) just takes time and a little patience. — Elaine Mitchell, Columbiana Ward, Bessemer Alabama Stake

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