Last Sunday our Stake put on a really amazing Fireside. For months and months leading up to this event the Stake was very active in hyping it up; giving multiple talks on what the Fireside would be about, printing nice, official invites, and strongly encouraging members to invite inactive members and investigators to come and enjoy it with us. 

The fireside featured talks from a husband and wife,  Randy and Meredith Casto, recent converts of the church, both of whom had to leave their full time jobs as ministers in order to be baptized. You can read a really wonderful article about them published by Deseret News here. I have included bits of the article italicized below;

"After a decade of study, Randy became a full-time Lutheran pastor and was blessed with a congregation of his own. Meredith’s spiritual journey also led to full-time ministry and she became an Episcopal priest in 2007." 
Meredith started her talk to us by saying, "I was hungry. I was so hungry." And went on to explain how despite being invested in the Bible and the Gospel of Christ thanks to her job, she still felt like something was missing. No matter what she did there was still a hunger in her she simply could not satisfy. 
"One of Meredith’s professional responsibilities was to invite representatives of different faiths to share their beliefs. The sessions featured many religious traditions, from Judaism to Hinduism and from Buddhism to Mormonism.
One day they heard from Amy Henderson, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Meredith shared with the audience an experience watching then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak and interact with his family at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Meredith was impressed with his sincerity and obvious love for his family and others. It was a feeling she admitted was tough to describe, but even harder to ignore.
She said, quite simply, “I want some of that!”
Henderson, in this very public setting, uttered the phrase that would become a mantra for Meredith and Randy;
"Well, you know Meredith, it’s never too late.
As Meredith began to investigate the church thanks to Sister Henderson, she soon listened to the words shared during General Conference, and for the first time she finally no longer felt hungry. 
As I listened to the spiritually powerful testimony she shared, not only did I know that she was certainly sharing words that I had no doubt were relateable to the many investigators in the congregation, but it also made me think of times that I have felt spiritually hungry. 
How often do we allow ourselves to just be "Sunday Mormons"? Or we read and pray daily, but don't pray sincerely and don't truly feast on the scriptures? We are just checking the boxes, and we are not truly spiritually feeding ourselves, fooling ourselves that it's enough. 
Almost five weeks ago, I made the decision to begin each day slowly, getting dressed, then giving myself a peaceful morning to pray and feast on the scriptures and other church materials. I have never really expanded my studies to include other books and teachings. But in wanting to be a better missionary I have tried to branch out, reading other works, which turned my study session to often last an hour. As I did this my days went smoother, My heart was lighter. I felt better. 
And then, after not even a full week of doing this, I received a call from a ward member. She had a neighbor who was in need of child care and she thought I might be good for the position. Long story short, by the end of the day I had met with the family and had landed myself a job. 
I had been previously looking for a nanny job of sorts, but all the ones that came my way weren't enough hours, weren't enough pay, or just simply didn't feel right. But this one was perfect. I couldn't help but feel so grateful and so blessed. I was looking for purpose. I was praying to help someone in some way. To feel like I was doing some sort of good each day, but I just didn't know where to look. My prayers were answered. 
With my schedule now my mornings don't always get to start slow and peaceful, but I am still making a conscious effort to make sure sometime during the day I have 30-60 minutes to pray and continue to immerse myself in Gospel studies. And though to some degree, the last few weeks have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster in adjusting to early mornings, I know I am moving up into a happier, more peaceful place, and feel more connected to and loved by my Heavenly Father then I think I ever have before.  
If you feel hungry, if you feel lost, I hope you take a chance on the Lord. Do what we have always been told to do. Read our scriptures and pray. But feast on those scriptures, and kneel when you pray, and give your whole heart in sincere prayer. I know the Lord has so many blessings for us. I know he has a designed path for each of us that he wants so badly to lead us down. But we have to be as sincere to him as he is sincere to us.

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