Dear Brother Albright,
I was blessed to grow up in a home with good influences around me. My mother, although a life long member, was not active for the greater part of my life. My dad isn’t a member and my parents were divorced when I was a baby. However, I was very fortunate and blessed to have a wonderful grandpa and uncles who honored their priesthood and took me under their wings to mentor me. I lived with my mom all my life and my grandpa was always there for me. He was a constant fixture of righteousness. It was because of him that I was involved with the church. Growing up I was always saying I was going to serve a mission but then there came a time in my teen years when it wasn’t so important anymore.
I stopped attending church and no longer wanted to serve a mission. But then my beloved grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and it shook my entire world. I didn’t know what to think or do. I had never experienced adversity like that before. My grandpa and I were very close and I loved and admired him so much. He taught me how to be a man. During this crisis of faith, I met with my grandfather alone one night. He asked me to promise him that I would serve a full-time mission. Because of my respect and love for him, I promised him that I would. Just three weeks later he passed away.
I didn’t have a strong testimony but after my loss and the funeral, I knew that there was something else after death. I gained a stronger testimony of the Plan of Salvation. But it wasn’t until I entered the MTC in Provo, Utah, that I gained a strong witness of the Book of Mormon. It was during the first few nights of the overwhelming atmosphere of being in the MTC, surrounded by hundreds of other young missionaries, when I realized I needed to know if the Book of Mormon was true.
I took Moroni’s challenge and sincerely prayed to know for myself. I received an answer that very night and I couldn’t believe that the Lord had heard and answered my personal prayer with all the challenges in the world. I will never forget that night on my knees when the answer came. I am so grateful for my testimony of the Book of Mormon. It has gotten me to where I am today. A wise missionary once told me it’s not what gets you on a mission, but what keeps you on a mission that counts!
Since that time I have enjoyed many sacred experiences that are special to me which have strengthened my testimony. I am so grateful for my grandpa’s inspired discussion shortly before his death when he asked me to promise to serve a mission. I am so grateful for a testimony built on the foundation established over the years by my amazing grandfather.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church, and that the Book of Mormon is true. I am so blessed and am so grateful for the spirit in my life to reveal truths to me! I am grateful that after my mission that I was able to fall in love with a beautiful and righteous young woman and be sealed in the Temple for Eternity.
Andreas K. Bolos