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Former  Member Of  the Pentecostal Church


"God Does Amazing Work In People"

By Don Stewart

It took me only 50 years to discover true faith in religion.

I didn't know what I was looking for until I found it looking for my great-grandmothers grave in New Mexico. (and we really found it) She was part of a 100 wagon train that walked across the country in 1877 and unfortunately contacted small pox and died while carrying twins.

She was buried in Raman, New Mexico along with her twins in a beautiful meadow in the low mountain range near the Arizona border.

But this conversion story takes precedence at the moment. (patience)

When I returned from a local church one day recently, my daughter-in-law, Mindy gave me the phone and said "You have a call". I heard a voice I had not heard for over 50 years. My long lost cousin Dick from Arizona. Actually he was not lost, I was and didn't even know it.

I did not know it then but it turned out to be the most important call I have had in many, many years.

My cousin and I sort of grew together up in a small town in Arizona on small adjoining farms, attending a one room school house a couple of years and carrying water from a wash well near the farms.

We were 8 or nine years old and didn't know that running water and inside toilets were available to people around the world. (what was electricity when we could use kerosene lamps?

Biggest nights of our lives were listening to the heavyweight fights on radio. Remember Joe Louis, and Billy Conn? What was Television?

Our greatest entertainment was trying to see images made by the clouds overhead. In other words it was a long time ago in real time .

Somehow over fifty years passed and we grew up and went our separate ways. Dick on to Electrical trade school in Chicago and me to minor league baseball, he became an electrical engineer much in demand currently in Alaska keeping the Alaskan pipeline pumping.

He became a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints building chapels in South America. He married his best girl at 19 and remains happily married to this day in Lakeside, Arizona. (Velma is a terrific lady as I gained 10 or 15 lbs.)

Back to Dicks telephone call. He had been searching for me for several years and through the power of the Internet, he got my telephone number and called.

If you have never felt the power of the Holy Ghost, here is how it works. Dick was prompted several times to hook up with me (somehow).

Upon learning that I was planning a trip to Ventura, California to see my brother, Clifford who had suffered a stroke, he said if you are going to be that close to Lakeside, Arizona, "I'll drive on over and pick you up and we can spend some time together".

It was the best time together you can imagine. I suspect that it was no coincidence. We had a couple of months visiting other cousins, seeing beautiful countryside of Arizona and New Mexico. (taking long walks around a beautiful lake in Lakeside)

But something was happening during our long drives. I asked about this church that had been so powerful in Dick’s life over the past 58 years. He is a humorist first grade and is loved and respected by everyone who knows him. (Why did I want to be just like him)

Just as the power of the Holy Ghost worked its magic for out reunion timing, the questions wouldn't stop coming our of my mouth and the answers came out of Dicks mind so clear and logical, that I had to know more about this church of nearly 13,000,000.

He was a great teacher as well as were some members in the local ward in Lakeside. (Missionaries are usually around 19 years old are trusted to be teachers of the church activities.) They are the best ambassadors for the church.

Making a long story (however interesting) short. After being further educated by visiting missionaries, I asked to be baptized into this amazing church and was duly dunked by Dick on May 5th and confirmed a member of the church the next day.

I have since returned to Virginia, hooked up with a local ward here of the church and remained truly amazed by the feelings that keep coming up for me. Some of the church members have become outstanding friends. God does some amazing work in people.

You may ask if there have been changes in me since my conversion. Answer is that I feel the power of the good Lord more than ever. The Holy Ghost is real and I suspect that Jesus has started a work in me that won't end at my demise.

Thanks brother, cousin, Dick for making that call. You have made a quality difference in my life and I will always be thankful. One question, however, how come it took you so long making that call?

Since joining the LDS church I have noticed a big difference in my life. I had wasted much time in other searches in other churches. But I Thank God that I finally found the one to bring me the truth.





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