In 7th grade, I was invited to Wednesday night activities by my Mormon friends. We made gingerbread houses :) it was the first time I'd ever gone to a "Mormon" event. I had a blast.
Around that time, I started asking questions. I didn't know anything about the Mormon faith, and once I learned that they didn't have priests like Catholics have, I had to know more about this weirdness. Granted, my Mormon friends thought Catholicism was pretty weird, too.
So we were all asking questions. This required me to learn more about Catholicism so I could answer their questions, and they had to learn more about Mormonism to answer my questions. There was much learning and spiritual growth happening all around.
The summer after freshman year, they invited me to girls camp. Oh boy, was that a blast :D at camp, I went to my first testimony meeting. It was a powerful experience. Most of camp, I focused on hanging out with friends and having fun, but I was very interested in the spiritual side, as well. I was impressed that people my age were so into religion. I hadn't thought it was "cool" to be "into" religion. Well, come to find out, these girls didn't care that it wasn't cool.
The same summer, I also went to Youth Conference. Many much religion classes and discussions took place at YC. I attended my second testimony meeting. Right before the meeting, I was talking with one of my friends, Sarah, about random stuff in general. One topic was colleges. I had no clue where I wanted to go, but I was pretty sure my mom would be a major influence in the decision and I did not want that. Another topic was how Katie, another friend, was mad at Sarah. Anywho, religion wasn't a major topic. But I started breaking down. I teared up (cuz of the colleges topic, believe it or not). After testimony meeting, I teared up more (Maggie, another friend, was moving out of state soon after YC). There was lots of emotional stuff going on. And suddenly, on the way home, I was suddenly questioning my entire Catholic belief system for no apparent reason. I totally broke down. My emotional state was not good.
That fall, I started doing research. Finding answers for my questions about Catholicism, not answers for my friends. I didn't always understand or agree with what I found. Everything seemed to be the "textbook answer," and I already knew most of those. It just didn't make sense. That was the year I was to be confirmed, so that got awkward real fast. I didn't tell my parents till after I was confirmed in the spring (side note- I didn't feel the Spirit at my Catholic confirmation. Problem? I think yes). My mom booked me an appointment with a priest at the church my family goes to, thinking I just had "major questions," not "major problems." I let the priest think he'd answered my questions, when in reality he didn't give me too much more to go on than the internet had the previous fall (granted, he did have some new and interesting things, but not enough).
That night, after the interview, I was reading True to the Faith, an LDS scripture reference book. While reading the section on the Holy Ghost, I suddenly thought, "I want to be baptized." Whoa, slow down! Where did that come from?? It sure wasn't me. I believe it was the Spirit.
The next morning, one of my friends texted me about a Book of Mormon question I'd had the previous night. Within two minutes, another friend texted me from EFY (another church camp), saying she had some BOM verses she felt that I should read. If that wasn't Divine Inspiration, I don't know what is!
It's been over a year since I decided to be baptized, and I still want it just as much, if not more, than the day I made the decision. My parents requested that I wait (they didn't flat out say no, but they do want me to wait), so I'm waiting. And I will be exceedingly happy when that day finally comes :D
*all names have been changed