baptism after effects

hello everyone,
 i've never really gone out and talked about my baptism on my blog. yes, I've brought up a few points here and posted  a few pictures there long ago, and sometimes i'll throw in a spiritual thought. but recently i have been having impressions to share my thoughts of the LDS church. and lying in bed tonight I was overcome with the feeling to just go on a little bit about just a few thoughts I've been having.
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fail.
Helaman 5:12
i'm almost at my year mark of being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and my life has taken a complete change of direction.
 I never realized how hard baptism after effects are.  one second you are consumed by the spirit, and a week later you feel like Satan has a serious hold on your life. literally a month after I had been baptized I was seriously beginning to wonder if it was really the thing that I wanted to do with my life. Satan was trying to get through to me through everything I've ever held close to me:
everything each day, was so hard.
i was beginning to think my testimony was too little, and each time i sat in church i felt like everyone around me was just understanding it, and i was sitting there still trying to remember where the young women's room was located (every corner looks the same okay?). and just when I thought i was getting the hang of things I was assigned a calling as a primary worker.
everything was happening so fast. it was happening so fast, that i felt incapable, and I started to not want to go to church because I was terrified I would fail. I was scared i would fail at something i had just started and was ready to take the easy way out.
right when i felt ready to give up. my parents sent me off to California for a month as a senior trip surprise.
Satan seemed to work even harder in California, but then one experience made me rethink all my doubts.
I was sitting in church on the first Sunday I was in California. My uncle had dropped me off at the LDS church in his neighborhood. i was sitting in the back corner of the chapel when a kind lady came up to me and asked me if i was there with anyone, I said it was just me and then she invited me over to sit beside her and a few friends. i moved over to where she was and she seated herself to the left of me, and to the right there was a girl named Shanee and beside here were two sister missionaries.
i introduced myself to Shanee and told her i was visiting from Utah. she asked where my family was and i mentioned that i was the only member in my family. she asked when i got baptized and i said "just last month". she had utter shock on her face, and then a smile formed from ear to ear. we talked almost everyday, and each Sunday she had something new to say, and new questions. I was happy to share my story, the difficulties, the trials, but also the great rewards and feelings.
i said goodbye to here after my final Sunday there in Cali, and a week after i returned home, i had a message from her on Facebook. She had decided to move up her baptism date and was set to get baptized the next coming Sunday, and every since then we have stayed in contact, and she is happy, so so happy. i realized that i never really shared that much knowledge of the church, just how happy the gospel made me feel.
that kind of experience changed my outlook on my entire situation.
it doesn't matter how big your testimony is, it doesn't matter how much you know, as long as you have faith in your own testimony and what it means to you. as long as you are strong in your spirituality and know that God has a plan for you, you will be okay. The road is never perfect, it is never going to be easy, but something worth having in your life and keeping, won't be easy to have at first. Something worth having takes work. and of course i put in the work during my investigation, but the difference is that i had someone to hold my hand and guide me, i had missionaries, i was converted because of their guidance to help me recognize the spirit. but my own personal conversion happened after SO much personal trial and SO much hardship, but all of it was worth it after overcoming all of that with the Lords help.
Since Shanee i have talked to countless investigators, and each time they all tell me the same thing, that they have never experienced something so hard and so confusing in their life. BUT that they feel this feeling (or weird vibe some of them say) that they can't shake and that is what is helping them to be strong. and i remember feeling that at first, and feeling so confused because i had never had that feeling before, but i was told that i was feeling the spirit, and it wasn't a feeling i was ready to lose.
3 things that have helped me to shake that doubtful feeling for good:
1. Pray always
Pray in the morning right when you wake up
Pray throughout the day
Pray before bed
Pray before meals
Pray for someone you love
Pray for someone who's giving you a hard time
Pray for thanks
Pray for the spirit
don't take your prayers for granted. have that conversation with your best friend.
Recently someone so close to me was going through a hard time, and she had never prayed before. ever. i asked her if she wanted to pray. she said that she didn't know how and i asked if she would like to learn.
i laid it out as simple as possible.
Dear Heavenly Father...
*talk to your best friend*
...i say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
a week later i texted that girl and she said she felt something when she prayed, and has been praying every day since then.
i remember when i first started praying each day, i was amazed by how amazing it felt to talk to someone whenever i wanted and KNOW that they are listening. Heavenly Father isnt that friend that is texting while you are trying to tell a story, no, He is that friend that will stop the world to listen to you.
2. Create a habit
prayer, scripture reading, attending church, visiting teaching, institute, attending church meetings, being involved, etc.
making a habit out of all those things brings you so much closer to the Lord. When the Lord is in tune with your life, then so are you. I have never felt so disconnected in my life than when i wasn't being diligent with my scripture reading and prayers or paying attention in church. putting all the worldly things in my life on hold and putting 110% focus on the gospel helped me to gain a better relationship with Heavenly Father, not to mention a more understood relationship.
3. Keep a journal
no journals aren't that hard. you may say you don't have time to keep one but im calling BS (sorry) on that right now.
 i wake up at 6:15am for weights for track
i have school till the afternoon
track for a few hours
training room
study hall
not to mention hours on hours of homework, i have to make food for myself, also i have to fit in all the little extra things in my life that i have going on.
but each night i set aside 10 minutes of my busy day to write about any spiritual experiences i had, or what i learned in my scripture reading. (and ps if life gets to hard to read scriptures, listen to them in on your smart phone while walking through the halls at school or going on a jog, it's great). I kept a journal through my investigation and i got one for my baptism and just recently filled it with so many of my favorite things.
if i didn't have that journal, i literally don't know what i'd do.
that journal has helped me to remember the feelings I've had. and when i feel down, i can remember why i made certain decisions, like to be baptized. i can remember scriptures that i love, and talks that i love, and sacrament meetings that i love. also Relief Society meetings that i love (you heard me), there's always something good in every meeting, that's why taking a journal to each meeting will help you to pay attention and relate what's being taught to yourself.
all of these growing experiences have taught me one thing in the past 9 months of being a member.
this church is true, and i can say that, and mean it with all my heart now. i believe that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet and i know we have a Prophet today and we receive revelation from God through him. i believe that the Book of Mormon is true and i have a testimony of this church that has grown immensely the past little while.
the road wasn't easy, and it still isn't. i'm learning more each day, i'm almost finished with reading the Book of Mormon my first time through and i literally don't understand 99% of it. But i have felt that it is true and i have received answers to my prayers from that little blue book.
i am so grateful to be a member of this perfect church and to have the opportunity to share my testimony to anyone who will hear it. sharing my testimony helps me to grow, and the best feeling is knowing you made someone else's day easier and happier by introducing them to the gospel.
i feel so blessed for the missionaries that taught me, i'm literally so blessed and lucky to have one of them living as one of my next door neighbors! their guidance changed my entire life for the better, their willingness to serve the Lord and put Him first changed not only my life, but the lives of countless other converts. and because of this experience, because of the life i'm living right now, i have made the decision to serve an LDS mission.
and i couldn't be more thrilled:)

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