Conversion Story and Testimony

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*This is Steve’s conversion story. He was baptized the first week I got to Centralia. 🙂

Stephen R. Lefferts
Conversion Story and Testimony

My wife Barbara died in 2002, and in 2005 I went up north to see my brother and his new wife. I went up there to visit them, because mainly I wanted to go up and “spit in Lake Superior.” She tried to get me to read the Book of Mormon. I told her absolutely not. I had been going to the church in Palmyra, Il, Blooming Groves. I stayed up there about a week, and we visited a lot of places. When I left I went home, and in May 8, 2008 I married my wife Nancy. Ray and Heidi, my brother and sister in law, came down for the wedding, and Heidi brought another Book of Mormon. She tried to get me to read it again, and again I refused. I didn’t even want to talk about it, and told her to keep it. Nancy took it instead.

In 2010, they invited us to go to Salt Lake City for their anniversary. We spent the week in Park City in a cabin. We were down in SLC and went to the Distribution Center and Temple Square and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. We watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Mother’s Day. All the missionaries outside kept trying to give me the Book of Mormon, but I had nothing to do with it. That’s when Nancy was talking to them and listening to them. She decided to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But me, I was hard hearted, and hard headed. I knew better.

We came home, and I still wouldn’t let her talk to me about it. Nancy would have the missionaries over, and I would find something to do outside.

We moved to a house in Centralia, Illinois, where Nancy continued to have the missionary lessons. That’s where I met Bishop Waggoner, and we talked about everything but the church. He understood that. I found out that George McKinney had been over there, along with Lehland Burton, and still I didn’t have anything to do with it. I went to the Veterans Administration one day, for something medical. On the way home, I slipped on ice and hit my head on the concrete. I don’t remember anything, I must have blacked out. I got inside, and don’t remember paying for anything or what I ate, but I went to the hospital. I was in the hospital for awhile, and no one in my church came to see me. However, the missionary elders came and gave me a blessing. That made a big difference to me, because no one in my church had come to see me. I was going to City Hope at the time, in Centralia, working as a security guard there.

When I got out of the hospital, I didn’t go back to my church. I had a concussion, and was told not to go anywhere so that I recovered. So I stayed home, and couldn’t get away from the sister missionaries when they stopped by. Sister Petrie and Sister Schow kept on asking me to read from the Book of Mormon. I sat there and listened to them, because I couldn’t listen to the TV. I told Nancy that they were too pushy. She told me to tell them so, and I did. I told them I couldn’t stand that stuff. They agreed not to push me. The next day they came over and pushed twice as hard. I started reading.

I couldn’t put the Book of Mormon down. I read the whole book in 2 months, and then I started studying it. I started in June and had it done by the end of July. I’m not very good at studying, and have trouble knowing what to underline. But some things stand out to me. I went to church in July and I was sitting next to Sister Petrie and Sister Schow. I asked the Bishop to come over, and asked him to baptize me on August 1st, 2015. His jaw dropped and so did the sister missionaries. I told him I knew this was the true church. He said yes, he would. A week later he said he couldn’t baptize me because he had to take his wife to New York. But he said that the “funny man”, Brother Kretschmer, could baptize me, or we could change the date. I told him I’d rather do it the first so that Ray and Heidi could be there.

On my baptismal day I remember my day would have been better if my brother had done it with me. But I’m going to push him and he’ll do it one day. I don’t remember much about the baptism, but I remember the next day. Receiving the Holy Ghost was beautiful. It was the most wonderful day. It enlightened me. I thought it was wonderful.

Email Forwarded from Sister Schow

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