I asked my primary class to bring a family pioneer story to share. I broadened the definition of pioneer to include any family conversion story. Twelve-year-old Paige brought her mother’s conversion story:
When my mom was in college, she went on vacation with a friend to Virginia Beach, USA. While swimming in the ocean, they lost all of their cash in a plastic cylinder. Fortunately, my mom’s phone number was in the cylinder and it was found several miles up the coast by a 10-year-old boy who was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). He was excited to find the 200 dollars, but he had been taught to be honest by his parents and Primary teachers, and so he returned the money after his dad contacted my mom. Along with the money he included a copy of the Book of Mormon and a letter asking her to read it and pray about the promise in Moroni. My mom didn’t read it at the time, but was very impressed by the honesty and integrity of this 10-year-old boy.
Three years later my mom moved to Utah to go to graduate school. She met many wonderful people in Utah who were LDS. They never pushed her to join the Church, but instead impressed her with their fellowshipping and examples of righteousness.
While working as a nurse, my mom met my dad who was in medical school. He too impressed her with his love for the Church. She finally decided to find out for herself what made it so great. She took the missionary discussions, read the scriptures assigned to her, and prayed fervently. She had always wanted religion in her life, and attended another church sometimes, but felt something was missing. Now she knew…it was the Spirit! Late one night she prayed, then sat in her bed thinking, and suddenly was overpowered with the feeling that she should be baptized. It felt so wonderful to know for herself at last that the Church is true.
So my mom was baptized, and when the missionaries found out about the boy from Virginia, they urged her to contact him. By this time, he was fifteen and living in Utah, so the Church contacted his parents and they arranged a surprise for him during a sacrament meeting. The bishop [lay leader of a local congregation] told the story of the money, then announced to everyone that my mom was in the chapel that day. A lot of people had tears in their eyes, and later my mom finally got to meet the boy. He was embarrassed by the attention, but very happy.
I feel my mom is a pioneer because she was brave enough to move to Utah all alone, and because she had the faith to join the Mormon Church when no one in her family had ever been very religious.