Monday, August 17, 2009
Ketchikan most definitely changed my life. Looking back to those few weeks in April when I was toying with the idea of spending the summer in Washington, it couldn’t be clearer that I needed to be in Alaska. The people I met, the parts of my self that I discovered, the friendships that were started or strengthen all make so clear that Someone was watching out for me in telling me to move to Alaska. But above everything, I have realized even more the truth of the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I had three really cool missionary moments while I was in Ketchikan that I want to record. The first and second happened at work. The first was a converstion with a Catholic woman. (Going to BYU is a great missionary tool in and of itself. When you tell people that you attend BYU some automatically know that you are a member of the Church. People who know that are often curious, and I am more than happy to talk.) Basically our conversation started off with just talking about BYU, how I can be taught evolution and creation and I can start a class with a prayer, stuff like that. Then she asked me about abortion and our views on it. Then she started talking to me about invitrofertalization. She brought up an interesting point. If we feel like its wrong to kill a child because it was supposed to be born and has the right to live, is it ok for a woman who can’t conceive to change that? What if she isn’t supposed to conceive? I was caught off guard but took advantage of the fact that we were talking religiously to bare testimony of personal revelation. I told her a little bit about the adoption services of the Church and then explained that each couple is able to know the will of God through personal revelation. When I spoke with her I felt a burning inside that (if it didn’t touch her with the truth) told me that what I was saying was true. The second experience happened with a young married couple. This one was simpler. The husband asked me what we believe. I tried to think of the defining characteristics of our religion. Prophets stood out to me at that time, so I told him that we believe in a living prophet and that the true religion of Christ that He organized during His time on earth was taken away, but has been restored through a prophet. His wife remarked that that was quite a different religion. I just kind of laughed and told her that we do believe in Christ and the resurrection and all that stuff. ☺
The third one was the best. My last day off of work was a rainy day. I had a lot to get done and didn’t want to take the city bus like I was so used to. I was coming back from the airport after officially deciding that I was going to ship my native American paddle home (that’s another story). I called a cab and here’s where it gets really good. I almost took a different driver, but the first cab, the driver seemed really rude, so I got in the other cab. A few minutes down the road, she told me she knew where she had seen me before—at the Mormon church! She asked me what the best advice for being a member was. I explained that our church is more of a lifestyle than just a religion and that the thing that helps me to live it is knowing that the regulations set up by the church are for our protection and because God loves us. Then I told her about the Book of Mormon and how I find it easier to read than some of the Bible. I gave her a pass along card and told her to get a Book of Mormon from the internet. I hope she was able to find it.
Alaska was the best choice I ever made in my life.
Today I still don’t know why: people carry pockets full of spare change