Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The last piece of the puzzle

It was a cold morning of early winter, the rain was falling and the wind was blowing from the north, the whispering trees were like living beings. Many of us were wearing big coats and wished we had stay at home, others were sleepy and praying that the history teacher could not come to class that day. However, it was a day like any other in which many students had to do their homework to turn it in on time because at the end, what can be worst than staying up late finishing your assignment if the teacher does not show up the next day?.
I was feeling melancholic, maybe because of the weather that was sadden that morning or perhaps because there was an empty spot in my life. I never realized how much I needed to learn to pray correctly; I used to pray quite often however, I was taught to pray scripted prayers.
As time passed, I noticed a very quiet and shy boy, Daniel who was sitting next to me; he was completely lying on the desk and appeared to be asleep. My friend Mon was a funny girl and wanted to wake Daniel up in a mean way. I often hear that a person with good sense of humor have a better sense of life. Nevertheless, to me that was not funny but disrespectful. Mon ignored me and opted to wake Daniel up after pretending to cover him with a school hoodie. After Daniel opened his eyes he kindly started a conversion with us. Mon proceeded to ask him “Why are you so sleepy at school?” to what he told us about an early class he takes every morning for some religion credits. I was astonished so I said “And all this time I thought I had to wake up early to come to school!..”
Daniel went on and on with a story that seemed very interesting but that I thought I will never be able to accomplish. After that day, I saw Daniel in a different way. It seemed that I had more respect for him because I knew he was fulfilling a commandment, an extra responsibility that I didn’t had to deal with. From that day, I became more comprehensive and even more empathic because I knew he had a class to attend at 6:00 am.
Around that same time, I began questioning myself about my religious beliefs and how much effort I was required to put on. Then I realized that I was catholic, I had a religion but that I was not working towards a specific purpose. As a result, seeking an eternal life was not something encouraged by my church, or at least I never saw it that way. For me, the path was somewhat easy to accomplish, in which repentance was seen as a simple step where people had to repeat a couple of sentences or give some alms to be forgiven.
Then I though of a well-known phrase “what comes easy, won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy”, this quote motivated me to open my mind and to be thirsty of new challenges.
At age 14, I started raising some questions that I never had before. I noticed that my religion, at that time, did not provide sufficient answers that could fulfill my doubts.  
Soon after I became interested on the motivation LDS people have to take morning classes. “Do these teachings make members happier? What do they know that I missing? Could I indulge the desire to take seminary classes?” my mind was full of questions that I did not have an answer for. Consequently, I decided to ask Daniel about his church, he was quite excited I could tell it was hard for Daniel to conceal his excitement when I agreed to his invitation for Sunday. Daniel could not hide the state of being emotionally aroused, his face was flushed with excitement and his hands were trembled. Probably I didn’t realize how much this meant to him.
Sunday came and Daniel introduced me to the missionaries, they seemed to be friendly and patient, their voice was calm and meaningful. Soon after I felt adopted, I wasn’t thinking too much, until during the first lesson they looked into my eyes, and I felt their words. An incredible connection became stronger when they read the first scripture, which I don’t happen to remember due to the internal dialog I had when these words came to my mind: “You have a hope and a future, you don’t have to be afraid; I’ve planned out everything, preparing you for this day”.
After this sweet experience I felt like the missionaries provided answers to all my questions. Until then, my life had been like a puzzle with a missing piece, which happened to be unfolding little by little every time I was on my knees. The missionaries provided the seed that will grow the missing puzzle piece. Just like Alma compared the word unto a seed:

“Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me”…

I found the needed seed when a few weeks later Mon and me were baptized in the LDS church.    


  1. I really enjoyed your choice of words you used. I noticed that it kept me more informed in the increase of curiosity you had about Daniel. I really enjoyed your blog post, thanks for sharing.

  2. This was so inspiring. I loved when you said, "After this sweet experience I felt like the missionaries provided answers to all my questions. Until then, my life had been like a puzzle with a missing piece, which happened to be unfolding little by little every time I was on my knees. " Maybe some of us have grown up in the church, but, we all need our own personal conversion--which can be like the puzzle fitting together. You provided adequate description and commentary from the characters to make the reader feel present.

  3. I loved this post! I think in your build up you could characterize Mon and Daniel a little more. I know Daniel was tired and then excited with hands trembling as he invited you to church, and that Mon liked to poke fun. OR! You could characterize yourself a little more, maybe hint at some of your doubts, or things that you are really interested in. Devotion? What makes you devoted and why do you want to have such devotion. Did you have a spark of desire for devotion before? Or was that part of the missing puzzle piece. Does that make sense?

  4. I don't know if it was intentional, but I think you need some better spacing in your essay. There was a huge block of text that was very oppressive to try to approach. As others have mentioned, the post was great, but that was distracting.