I learned a lot about my friends and the way people react to our essays through sharing my story as well as a few others with people I know.
One of the main responses I got was actually about Viridianas essay, which I shared with a few member and non-member friends in Argentina. Many were quick to respond to her conversion story, and one friend was willing to share it with five people and then invite them to listen to the missionaries. I'm still waiting for a response from him on whether they accepted The invitation or not. Another non-member I shared her story with said it really helped her to remember why she converted in the first place.
With my personal essay, I shared it in person with one of my roommates who just lost his grandfather. As my essay was focused on the passing of my own grandmother, I felt this would be appropriate. He didn't say much, but I could tell he appreciated it, and I feel our friendship has grown since..
The last mentionable person that I shared my essay with was my father. As it was his mother that passed I wasn't sure how he would respond, especially with it being so candid in the essay how my grandmother had passed. He was surprisingly very happy that I had shared it with so many and that endured a good conversation about the people I had shared it with and how it had helped them.
All in all, it was a very good response, and more than I had expected to come from our activity of sharing our personal essays with others.