1. Dylan Teague. Dylan is my best friend from high school, and we still talk occasionally. He is married and has a son. I’ve shared the Gospel with him before, but he hasn’t been baptized. He’s still open to hearing about my religion, and he respects me and the beliefs I have. I’m going home for Christmas this year, and I’ve already talked to Dylan about spending time with him at his house. I would like to share my personal essay with him in person, and I’d like to talk more in depth about it than we have before. I think that would open some doors to being able to share more of the Gospel with him without pushing my beliefs on him, and without being too preachy or weird about it.
2. Antoni Hernandez. Antoni is a kid from my mission who I connected with really well. He has lots of hardships in his life because of poor parenting, but luckily he is currently living with a less-active we reactivated and his wife and kids who we baptized. I spoke with him recently and he said he just received the Aaronic priesthood and is attending church. I think my personal essay would really help him see how the Gospel can help all of us make it through our trials. I’ll try to contact him through Facebook.
3. Ana Carola Chura. Ana is a convert from my mission who I had the privilege of teaching leading up to her baptism. She is an incredible young woman who wanted to be baptized basically since she and the husband of her cousin (she lived with them in the U.S. for a while before moving back to Bolivia) received the lessons from the missionaries. I would like to share my personal essay with her because her family back in Bolivia is a non-member family, and she has already shared the Gospel with them before. I’d like to see if my personal essay could be something Ana could use to share the Gospel with her family. I’ll try to contact Ana through Facebook as well.
4. Brandon Johnson. Brandon is a good friend from high school. He and Dylan Teague also know each other. Brandon would often work out in the weight room with me after school during the weekdays back when we were in high school. Brandon told his parents, who then told my parents, that he really agreed with a lot of the things I would say. Brandon’s parents told my parents to thank me for being a good friend to Brandon. Brandon also messaged me on Facebook while I was on my mission, mentioning that he missed playing video games together and stuff like that. I think we have a good enough connection that I could get him to read my personal essay. I think my personal essay wouldn’t be overbearing or too churchy, and yet at the same time it could get him interested in the Gospel and the church. I’ll see if I can see him over the Christmas break while I’m home, but most likely I’ll be able to contact him only through Facebook, at least initially.
5. Tamara and Ronald Thompson. Tamara is my sister. She married outside of the church, but her husband Ronald was baptized a little over a year ago. I think sharing my personal essay with Tamara would be a good way to have Ronald read it (or have it read to him J) and to hopefully encourage him to stay faithful to the church. Even though Ronald was baptized, he has struggled to stay active. He and Tamara had the goal of getting sealed in the temple, but that goal has been postponed. I’d really like to help them out, and since I have such a good relationship with them already, I think they’d be up for reading my personal essay. I’ll see them over the Christmas break, so I’ll share it with them then.
6. Marlon and Karina Cruz. Karina is a less-active we were able to reactivate while I was on my mission, and Marlon is her husband. Karina’s oldest daughter was already a member, and we were able to reactivate her as well. We were also able to baptize Marlon and their son, also named Marlon, followed a year later by the baptism of their youngest daughter (when she turned eight). They are a great family and are still active in the church. I’m hoping that sharing my personal essay with them would give them something to use to share the Gospel with their friends. I’ll try to contact them through Facebook.