Irene Gilchrist from Calgary, Alberta, Canada has a son who is currently serving a full-time mission in Tempe Arizona. She recently shared her conversion story with me and I thought you’d enjoy it as much as I did!

Elder Mormon MissionariesA week before the missionaries came to my door, I had sent off another religious couple (not LDS) from my apartment. I was raised Roman Catholic and to this day have devoted parents to their faith.

Let me begin by letting you know, that when these two sister missionaries came knocking on my door, I was asleep not feeling very well. To my astonishment, when they told me they wanted to talk to me about Jesus Christ, I invited them inside (much to my own shock). I had not been active in my faith for many years.

Within the first 15 minutes of they’re sharing the story of Joseph Smith, they invited me to a baptism. I must tell you that I had never been so touched by such an event and to this day I love pondering upon the first vision.

When we got to church (by taxi I might add, since I had lent my car to one of my brothers), the baptisms were for a fifth grade twin brother and his family. I was deeply moved by the baptism ceremony and the Spirit which dwelt in that room. That weekend was the most remarkable one in my entire life (up to that point). The missionaries invited me to attend church the next morning and I could not get enough of that warmth and peaceful feeling which permeated my entire being.

The first week of discussions were wonderful, I could not wait to hear about the next principle which I would learn about and put it into practice. Then, after speaking to some co-workers, I began to feel uneasy and scared I guess. I sent the missionaries on a bit of a goose chase. Not wanting to answer the phone or being available for appointments. Eventually letting them know that I was leaving the city. (Those poor missionaries, I must have disappointed them so much). Well Heavenly Father’s hand did manifest itself in my life and within a week or so later during Fast and Testimony, I stood up and told the congregation that I wanted to be baptized.

I was baptized March 26, 1976 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. My future husband was quite involved with the missionaries and frequently asked about my journey into the church thus far. At the time, he was in the small French branch in Hull, Quebec and I had decided to attend the English ward in Ottawa instead. Although I am French-Canadian. Through some work on his part, I would help the French-speaking missionaries within the branch boundaries and eventually, we began dating – a very short while before he left for BYU-Provo to pursue his education.

Tom (my husband) completed one semester and came home (after proposing over the telephone) and we were married in April 1977. The date chosen had everything to do with his dad who had just been called as Patriarch over the Ottawa region. As we had hoped for a one year exactly after my baptism! My husband’s family came from England in the 1800’s and were part of the pioneers (Joseph Harker and Susannah Sneath). I am so thankful for their devotion and sacrifice, for the love which they have passed on to their posterity.

Although to this point, my family is still not interested in the church. I have no doubt in my mind and my heart that the Lord will assist us in touching their hearts when the time is right. My husband and I have been called to serve in the Young Single Adult ward (Brentwood ward in Calgary). We have five boys (2 have and 1 is presently serving his mission in Arizona Tempe Mission).

I love keeping in touch with my missionary! I actually dropped in while visiting Utah one Sunday nearly 2 years ago. She was thrilled (we both were), we hugged and remembered the special experiences we had when she was serving back in my home town of Hull, Quebec.

All together we have 5 sons, 3 daughters-in-law (one from Hyrum, Utah; one from Soda Springs, Idaho and one from Edmonton, Alberta) and 5 grandchildren. I cannot believe that the Lord’s servants were able to find my rebellious soul and touched me in such a way by their sweet spirit and shared the message of the restored gospel.

What a wonderful journey! With life’s ups and downs, I would not change anything for it. I love my Savior and know that he leads and guides me every day.

About Trina B

Copyright © 2022 LDS Blogs. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit churchofjesuschrist.org or comeuntochrist.org.