I want to tell you how the Lord answered a special prayer of mine and I came to know the Church of Jesus Christ. In the Muslim holy book, the Koran, there is a “special scripture” that promises an answer to prayer and inspiration from God on what the individual desires. According to this scripture, if you recite the prayer 4,444 times—no more, no less—then you will receive an answer to your desire.
There is great faith among my people in this promise, and many have had good results after doing this. Generally, five or more women will gather in the home where a specific answer to prayer is being sought. They spend the entire day repeating this prayer in order to reach the 4,444 required recitations. Before they leave the home, they are paid for their service, help and guidance.
I had a deep desire in my heart to receive direct inspiration and an answer to my personal prayer, so I determined to begin this special prayer on my own! As I began, it went well. However, after some time had passed, it became confusing and I lost count. I started over, but I reached a certain point and realize I had lost count again. I continued trying for seven days. I think I recited the prayer about 13,332 times. I was on my third try of reaching exactly 4,444 recitations, when I finally convinced myself that it was enough.
Three days later, I heard a voice telling me I needed to be baptized. When I received this impression, I could hardly think of anything else. The voice constantly reminded me that I needed to be baptized.
I did not tell my family anything about this sacred experience. A friend of mine, who was also an Herbalife Distributor like myself, attended the Catholic Church with his wife on a regular basis. I told him of hearing a voice that kept reminding me to be baptized. He was curious and surprised at my insistence to be baptized. He explained to me that I needed to attend catechism for four years to prepare for baptism in the Catholic Church. I couldn’t understand! I said to him, “You know what? I do not have that much time! I just want to get baptized now!”
One day, as I was returning home on the bus, I attempted to deliver my Herbalife flyer to the passengers. I noticed an American couple and offered to give them my flyer, but the gentleman didn’t accept it. A few minutes later when several passengers got off the bus and made more seats available, this couple took the opportunity to sit nearer to me. As I smiled to them, they smiled back.
With great faith, I showed them my flyer once again. The gentleman rejected it once more, but this time I urged him to please take it in a very quiet voice. Finally, he took my flyer and began talking to me! After a couple of minutes, I asked for their phone number and address and promised to visit them. A week later, I called them and was invited to their home. After a good conversation about Herbalife I was about to leave when this gentleman informed me, “There is a modern day Prophet living on the earth!” I heard what he said, but I could not fully understand the meaning. In shocked disbelief, I asked him, “Is that true?! Are you sure?” He replied again, “Yes, there is a modern day Prophet living on the earth today!” I was extremely excited and could not comprehend, then I sat down on the couch, and I could not stop my tears! This gentleman, Kent, was smiling, and his wife Doris was holding a copy of the Book of Mormon and a brochure. This was such a special moment in my life, and I felt I had been uplifted: my prayers had been answered!
After taking the six missionary discussions, I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on February 12, 2000. Some time after my baptism and confirmation (to receive the “Gift of the Holy Ghost”), I remembered one more thing about this couple. I had seen them in a dream when I was twelve years of age.
I had a great desire to travel to Salt Lake City to attend General Conference, and I was given the opportunity to do so. My wonderful brother bought me an airplane ticket, and I came to Salt Lake City and attended the 2002 April General Conference and later the Women’s Conference on June 23, 2002. In June, I also received a marvelous Patriarchal Blessing.
I began research on my family’s genealogy. My father told me his family came from an ethnically Greek village in the past. I was amazed to receive this information from my father, and since then I was given the privilege of receiving a Temple Recommend and doing the temple work for many of my ancestors on both my mother’s and father’s side of the family.
I do believe I have been born again by baptism! I know that Gordon B. Hinckley is a Modern Day Prophet. With all my heart, I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the children of the World, and he truly is the Beloved Son of our righteous and eternal Heavenly Father. The Book of Mormon is true scripture brought forth in our modern day, which teaches us the “Plan of Happiness and Salvation” and “testifies of the miraculous visit of our Resurrected Savior to the American Continent.”
I leave these, my deep feelings of Testimony and Love, with you in the sacred name of the Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.