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missionaryfuqua (Elder Fuqua’s awakening) *

Elder Fuqua’s awakening


My wife and I became acquainted with Elder Fuqua in the Provo Missionary Training Center in 2017.  He was a sweet young man who struggled mightily to get his spiritual footing as he began his mission, but his awakening in the Czech Republic was remarkable.  The following experience occurred shortly after Elder Fuqua arrived in his field of labor, the Czech Republic.

“Saturday came and let me tell you, I needed that day so much.  My thoughts are deep and personal here, so please bear with me (the lesson from this experience comes at the end).  As Saturday finally arrived, I was ready to leave this country and my mission.  I was still suffering from jet lag, and at about noon every day I could barely stay awake.  I didn’t know the city or my area, I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying, and the only way that I was surviving was by reading the German translations for everything in the Czech language.  Our travel schedule had cut into my study time and our daily schedule was insane. I found myself in my chair reading my scriptures at night, trying not to cry and and I was anything but happy to be here.  I really wanted to go home.  I was in a very bad spot.  Saturday came and everything changed.  I was able to attend the baptism of one of the investigators that the sister missionaries had taught.  The weather was very cold, the wind was blowing very hard, and it was raining in torrents.  This investigator was baptized in a lake so it made it even colder for him and for those of us watching. I watched this man walk out into the water with the elder who baptized him.  When he came up of the water and I saw the look of warmth and joy in his face, I just stood there and cried. I am crying right now, thinking about the experience.  Seeing the joy that was on his face and hearing his powerful testimony after the baptism changed my whole perception of my mission. I began to feel a deep love for the people of this country that I had not felt before.  I knew right then and there that I could not nor would not leave my mission. There was too much work to be done, too many people to help, too many people who could live better lives.  I know the baptism was for this good man, but I also needed to be cleansed and have a new start, just as he did. That baptism helped me as much as it helped that good man.  If I hadn’t witnessed that baptism when I did, I am not sure what would have happened or how I would be feeling right now.  When Sunday arrived, I was able to meet all of the members and feel great love for them.  I bore my testimony and it was probably one of the scariest yet sweetest things I have ever done.”

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