Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting at church. I always envy how strong people are to get up and bear their testimony in sacrament meeting. I could never do it. For some reason this experience that I had kept popping into my head, so I figured I would blog it instead of say it. It makes things much easier.
Growing up I always had the church. It was everywhere and I completely disregarded it most of the time. In fact, all through high school I never knew my feelings for it. It was after high school when I realized how important it is.
I was 17 when I graduated high school. At that point, I decided to join the Navy. I left for basic training 3 days after graduation. It was the single most terrifying experience I've ever had. I was alone, I was scared, and there was no way to contact my family besides letters. My first Sunday came and they took our division to the huge chapel where all the different denominations held their services. It was an orientation for us so that we would be able to find what service we wanted and sign up. I almost cried when I was "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Immediately I put my name on the list. I didn't get the opportunity to go that day but I remember clearly the next Sunday.
Sundays were our days we used to polish our boots and iron our uniforms. We were able to get a little bit of rest but not much. We had to use our time wisely if we wanted to have polished boots and perfectly pressed utilities. Most of the people who went to church didn't have much time to get all of their work done. I remember a man walking into our compartment and calling for the LDS members. I was the only girl that walked out of their with him. We walked over to the chapel and it was pouring rain outside. I was soaked and I remember feeling kind of embarrased because I was in my utility uniform and soaked. Not exactly how I had been taught to dress for church. But when I walked through those doors of where our service was held, I had the most wonderful feeling in the world wash over me. I looked around at all of the men and women sitting their in their uniforms and this feeling of peace washed over me and I started crying. Sobbing is a better word. I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I cried for the entire meeting! But I wasn't the only one.
The church leaders in this ward were so amazing. They took time every Sunday to come to RTC and meet with us. They talked to me and made sure I was okay. They even called my parents for me and updated them every week. They would send my letters and give me letters because it was faster. They helped me so much! The craziest part was that somehow, someway, my boots were always shinier than anyone else and my uniform was always pressed to perfection. I don't even know how I had the time! All I know is that, this wonderful church helped me get through a very hard situation. It was the experience I needed to know exactly how true and how amazing the gospel is. Without it, I would have drowned. My Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he led me in that direction.