Monday, November 30, 2015

My Story by Steve Wilson

My story isn’t one of visions or of great miracles. My story is simple and my testimony is simple. If there is one thing that I have learned from the gospel it is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. Well… our part is simple. I have been truly blessed being raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Something that can easily be taken for granted. I feel like I could easily recognize the spirit at a fairly young age. I can clearly remember when my cousins and I sang at Grandma and Grandpa Smith Mission farewell to New York. We sang “Families Can Be Together Forever”. I knew then and still know now that the feelings I felt of happiness, warmth, and understanding was the spirit testifying of the truthfulness of that song and of what my grandparents were about to do. I knew that the tears I shed were not just that of sadness of missing my grandparents but of joy knowing that the Savior had work for them to do. I knew that day I was going to serve a mission. As I got older and watched both sets of Grandparents serve multiple missions and cousins being called to serve, I knew I would someday. I never viewed a mission as something expected of me but rather something I wanted to do and knew the Lord wanted me to. Growing up in Phoenix I was surrounded by good friends, teachers, leaders and parents who supported me in all that I did. I remember the missionaries being in our home often and I looked up to them. When it came closer to me being able to serve I began to prepare myself by teaching with the missionaries, getting up early with the Stake President and studying the scriptures, and preparing my mission paperwork. I’m not saying that I was never nervous about going on a mission. But my nervousness was never that of not knowing how to be a missionary. I was nervous about where I would be called and what weird food I would be forced to eat. I remember being nervous when filling out my mission paperwork and when it asked how willing I was to learn a foreign language. I had taken 4 years of French in High School but wasn’t good at speaking it. When my mission call finally came in the summer of 2003 I was excited. Even more so anxious because it got lost in the mail and they had to resend it to me. I had received papers from the Church office giving me instructions on how to obtain a visa for Canada before receiving my call. Reading my mission call to serve in the Canada Montreal Mission French speaking was sigh of relief. I took French in High school, my Wilson grandparents served in the same mission a few years earlier, and it’s not that far away, how hard could it really be. The MTC proved to be challenge to me, as I wasn’t learning the language as quickly as those around me. I had a companion who was learning a third language and was accusing me of not having enough faith and called me unto repentance. Another Elder in my district helped me to keep sane and I prayed that the language would come to me. When I got to the mission field the language continued to be a struggle for as I bounced back and forth from English speaking areas to French speaking areas. I didn’t let these difficulties hinder me from the work or shake my testimony. I recognized the Lords hand in many discussions I had with investigators. There were many instances where I was scared going into a discussion not knowing what to say and the Spirit would guide me. Many times I wouldn’t even know what I had just said but would notice tears rolling down the cheeks of those I taught. I wouldn’t say that I found my testimony on my mission but my mission did strengthen my testimony for the world I was about to return home to. I moved to Utah shortly after returning home and attended Weber State. Moving to Utah allowed for me to be around friends from my mission and to meet my wife. Those two things have been a great strength for me through out the years. Marrying a woman who has also served a mission has been a great blessing to my three children and me. I am surrounded by great examples of faith and endurance. I hope to endure to the end with steadfastness in Christ my savior. This is my testimony plain and simple. Christ is our savior and he lives. I know we have prophets and apostles that guide his church today. I know we have a loving Father in Heaven. Amen.

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