This week I will be taking Lilly, a girl in my ward, to seminary. This morning when we got there I discovered that there would be a Morningside. I decided to stay and listen and I'm glad I did. A young man from Sudan Africa was the speaker. He told his story of how his single mom wanted a better life for her family and immigrated to the United States where he met some missionaries in Pennsylvania as a 15 year old boy. This was after living in Tennessee in the projects and becoming involved in gangs and seeing the worst of life in the US.
He was the only convert in his family and after graduating from high school, he decided to go on a mission. His mother however did not give her approval and told him that he could not live with her if he "threw away his money and education" on a mission. He decided to go to school first to show his mother that he respected and loved her for all she did for him...and graduated from LDS Business college. When he again started the process of turning in his papers, she took up the same stance and told him she did not approve. He didn't know what to do, he knew a mission was right for him. He called up Michael Hodson who he had met in Utah...Michael invited him to come to Santa Barbara to prepare for his mission. He has since received his call and is going to Washington DC mission. He told the kids this morning that he hopes that he can be the kind of missionary that will one day inspire someone to change his life and be able to tell his story in a seminary class just like he was doing today. Very inspiring. I'm so glad I was able to hear his story.