An entire year has flown by, and it is already time for our 2nd Annual International Hug a Convert Day celebration. I know, I know - awesome!
What? You don't know what I'm talking about? Quickly, check this link, and then come right back. We'll wait for you. *humming...tapping foot...eating Cheetos...looking at watch*
Welcome back. See? Isn't this great? What started out last year as a simple post, became on of my favorite things that has happened on my little blog. Oodles of readers started submitting their conversion stories. And I love conversion stories.
A few weeks ago, we enjoyed Stake Conference- especially the Saturday adult session. (FYI, it is usually the best session.) During the session, three people spoke that had joined the church within the past year. They were amazing - everyone was riveted and touched. Their stories were beautiful and inspiring, which leads me to this point:
Hearing a heartfelt conversion story does more to inspire and motivate me to be a better missionary that all the talks or lessons I have ever heard on the subject.
So in two weeks, I invite you to celebrate with me. What you need to do depends on which group you belong to. (Recognizing that you could belong to several.)
REQUEST: Please, I beg of you, don't write a comment saying, "We are all converts." I know, I know - at some point in time, we all need to experience a conversion. But unless your conversion required you to have an interview with missionaries, be baptized, and be listed on the church records as a convert baptism - I'm not talking about you, even though I am extremely happy you are on board. Maybe one day we will have a "Hug Someone Who Already Belonged to the Church, and Then Was Converted Day." June 2 is not that day. (But if you need a hug, let us know.)
Now that I beat that into the ground...
If you would like to share your story on my blog the week leading up to June 2nd, I would consider it a great honor. This year, please don't put your story in the comments section. Type it up, and email it to me at email@example.com, and be sure to include a photo. It doesn't have to be long, or fancy. Short and simple is just as powerful. I will include as many as I can. This is a safe place, and I won't allow any critical comments.
Remember - this is international. I already have a great story from Budapest! I am also offering an autographed copy of my book to the most recent convert who submits his/her story.
Even if you do not want to publish your story - write it down anyway, and file it away. Too often we let those important days slip by without documenting them. There may be times when you need to revisit those experiences and feelings.
Please take the button and put it on your blog to let people know - it is over on the right hand column. It will take readers to this post until June 2 - after which I will put up a new link. (Thanks for the button help, Jocelyn)
Also, if you would like to participate and run similar stories on your blog on June 2nd, I would be equally honored. Please link back to this blog, and drop me a line to let me know that you are participating, so I can include you on a blog roll for this event.
Feel free to spread the word, and feel free to use whatever graphics you want. Just let me know you are doing it.
Read, and comment. Nicely. It is a day where only love and appreciation will be acceptable on the comment page. Also, spread the word on Facebook or Twitter, or whatever your favorite social media site. I will post Facebook links throughout the week from May 27- June 2.
You can also help by sharing this link today so that more converts know that we are excited to hear their stories.
A couple of final notes:
• June 2nd is also Fast & Testimony Meeting for most of us. It would be a great time to express appreciation for those who had the courage to join the church - whether in your family history, or someone else's. We are all here because of someone's conversion story.
• For every convert's story, there is usually a missionary story as well. Write those down. Your posterity needs them, and you might, too.