Monday, May 15, 2017

Waila Francis' Conversion Story

Before I finish up our writings of our mission adventures I wanted to add just a few more stories.  I have been busy with other things so it has taken me almost a month to get them fully transcribed.  The first ones are some experiences of our dear friend Francis.  I thought they were really interesting when he told me of some of his hardships after joining the church.  He wrote each one of these in his own hand.  I have added some words for clarification in some parts but these are his stories.  I will try to post one a day for the next five days.....

One evening I was walking with my schoolmates and friends from school.  We met two fine young men and they asked us if we could listen to them.  My friends started making funs of them, {some} calling them confusors of the world, others calling them Mormons.  It was my first time to meet them and I wanted to know more about them and what they do.  My friends never wanted me to talk to them.  They said, “Francis, don’t waste your time with them.  We know more about them… much more than you.  I asked them to tell me things that they knew about them.  They said, “they are homosexuals, they drink blood, they sacrifice people, and they don’t believe in Jesus Christ.

Being my first time I resisted.  I felt something telling me to talk to them.  My friends assured me if I talk to them they will be walking with me no more, even {not} sharing with me anything at school.  It was challenging by that time.  I knew I had my freedom to choose, so I decided to talk to {the} missionaries because it was my first time to meet them.  I wanted to know more about their church.  They asked if I could have time for them to come and share their special message with the family.  I said, “Even now, before my family members.”  We sat along side of the road and was shared the first lesson.  I felt strong in the spirit in this lesson.  Before even I prayed about their message, I knew that it was true.

{For the} Second lesson they came over to our home.  Being the first lesson {at my home} in my community I faced with opposition from people and other churches leaders.  They told my parents of the evils of that church.  My parents, more so my dad was very angry with me.  They told me that I should stop meeting with them.  It was hard for me to decide.  I went on my knees.  I prayed to my Heavenly Father and still I felt the same Spirit.  I remembered how I felt on the first visit.  I knew I needed to continue meeting with them at the church.

I used to walk six kilometers to church for other lessons because I knew I needed to be baptized a member of the church.  Christmas day came.  I was denied food, clothes, and gifts at home.  I felt lonely on that day but I was so strong with my decision of being baptized.  I was dispursed by people, {they} made fun of me, I lost friends but I remained with the missionaries and church members as my friends.  Having a high position in my former church as a young men leader and assistant head of finances, many people did not believe that I could leave their church.  It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made in my life. 

Elders prepared me to be baptized but I needed to ask permission from my parents.  I knew they could (would) not allow me to be baptized.  Elders encouraged me to first pray before I could ask them.  I prayed and in the morning I asked them.  My dad answered, “You have your agency.”  I was excited and happy from that day.  I knew that God answers prayers that He lives and that my decision was right.  The Elders interviewed me for baptism and I invited my family members to attend.  Dad said, “We will only attend one time but not always.”  I knew that one visit would create a difference.  On 20th of April 2011 I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. And on the 27th of April confirmed.  Even on that day my brothers and sisters attended with me.  

My baptism changed me both spiritually and physically.  I started sharing my testimonies about the restored gospel with them.  I explained the Book of Mormon to them and my sister accepted to be baptized and my mum also.  My other sister was baptized and finally I baptized my father also.  All family members joined the church and it made my testimony strong and my desire to share with other people even to serve a full time mission.  I started sharing with community members and many accepted the Restored Gospel and even I {have} baptized twenty three families and countless individuals.  I learned that whenever we make right choices things always harden and sometimes we may feel like giving up but as we hold on and be strong we always receive blessings.

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