Hugs for Katrina!

Katrina Brooks baptism

If you would ask me five years ago do you see yourself ever becoming Mormon I would have say hmm…NO. LOL!! Heavenly Father had other plans. We are a Military Family, and we just got stationed Japan (I wasn’t very happy with this at all!!) Did I mention we had FIVE girls  at the time ages 6,4,3,2, 3 months!! Not even three months of being there to find out my hubby was getting deployed for the first ever for NINE months!! I know you are like what does this has to do with your conversion story. Trust me it does.

So, my hubby left and now it just five kids, myself, and foreign land. So I decided we need to find a church. Well I would love to say the first church I found was the Mormon church. Ummm… No. My mom said I need to find a good Black Baptist church. So I did and a little bit I thought I was happy. But, something always was missing. So on to church #2, it was another Baptist church and once again I thought this is the one! umm…no, I found I was less happier than the last one. So I decided I need to change and go to another church. I join to Contemporary Christian church this actually made me happy for a while, but then I got that feeling this is not for me. Then I went on to join FOUR another churches, each church had promise but it wouldn’t feel the hole and urge I had to be close to God. So unfortunately, I found something to fill the void. My drinking got worse and I gave up all hope that I feel God’s love again. Why would he love a drunk like me? My hubby arrived back from deployment safe but suffered from PTSD Again, I prayed for God to guide me where to go. But, I got no answer.

I started to hang out with a group of ladies at playgroup. The kept saying they were “LDS” and they were so happy and nice. I wanted that. I told my hubby there is group of ladies who I think do drugs cause they keep saying they are LSD cause they are so happy lol. I didn’t care just wanted to be apart they had this light and warmth and wanted to know what it was. One day my  neighbor asked me “Do you want to come to church with me, I think you would like it.” Here we go again church #7, my kids were horrified.  “Mom, not another church we are go and quit”. To honest I thought the same thing too. My life was at it’s worst, my drinking was out of control, my hubby and I was on the verge of divorce, and this point God’s love was just an after thought.

When we arrived to church, the first thing my daughter runs out in the street. I was about to just turn around, when a friendly member picks her up and puts her on his shoulder. Then walk in and EVERYONE is so nice and friendly welcoming us. I remember my first thought was “why do they keeping calling me “Sister Brooks”, is it because I am black?” We get into Sacrament and my youngest was having full on temper meltdown. I just knew everyone was going to look me crazy, instead a family came sat right by us and help me. The joy I felt because they came to help and made me welcomed. Next, was Gospel Principles class, WOW that class was amazing. It was my first time ever heard of the Book of Mormon and it felt like it was a long lost family member I been looking for. I asked the teacher every question I could think of about The Book of Mormon and the Bible. He was so patient he answered everyone. The last meeting was Relief Society, it was so awesome being around women who understand me and just me feel so welcome. To be honest, I was worried about being the only black family, at another churches we felt like the “Black Family”. I didn’t feel that I felt like the Brooks family.
That night I talked to my children about how did they like church. I was shocked they all LOVED it and told me so much about Jesus Christ that they learned that day and wanted to go back. I went to my husband and said “Baby, I am going to become Mormon!” I can’t explain the feeling I got that this is where I am supposed to be. He was a little worried cause this was my seventh church I wanted to join. He said “Well, if that’s what you want to do I will support and I AM NOT BECOMING MORMON or moving to Utah!”   I ran and told my neighbor my decision. Granted she was a little worried cause of my history. She suggested I meet with the missionaries.

The missionaries walked in the house, before they could tell me their names I yelled, “I want to be Baptized!!” The look on their faces was priceless!! lol. One of the missionaries said “How about you watch this video, of Joesph Smith.” Oh my, the video still brings tears to my eyes. He went through everything I went through he just wanted to the truth!! Just like me. That sealed the deal. I said, ” Sign me up”. Then they dropped a bombshell. I have to quit drinking. WHAT!! I been drinking for so long and I felt it was bad but nothing I control. This really shook me to my core. My secret was out in the open do I keep drinking or chose happiness and God’s love I been yearning for.

I wish I can say I chose that day to say yes. Ummm…I chose drinking but now it wasn’t fun and I didn’t like it as much.  I knew Heavenly Father was telling me it’s time. I prayed that night to stop drinking and if being Mormon was the way to go give me sign. Right then, I felt peace and the courage to dump my bottle of liquor in the sink. I started the class and knew this was the right choice me.

While I was taking classes preparing to get Baptized, my best friend got really sick and I had to go visit her. The missionaries wanted to postpone my baptism but I told them no I would take classes with online missionaries. So there I was in a Catholic hospital, studying my lessons, when half the room was Catholic and other was Presbyterian. The Presbyterian Minster comes up to me and says “WHAT RELIGION ARE YOU?” in his Alabama accent.  I didn’t know what to say so I said “umm…I am pre-Mormon”. Technically I wasn’t Mormon but I knew was going to be. His look was priceless and he says “Well I think that’s crazy and you what makes the best Presbyterians, ex-Mormons.” the whole room laughs. Then they started a firestorm full of questions about Mormons. Thank heavens I was writing the online missionary was helping me answer questions. That moment I knew I wanted more than ever to get Baptized.

I ran into more problems with my family accepting me becoming Mormon. I knew this what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. My Baptism day was AMAZING when I came out of the ocean water I knew I was where I belong. That it was a welcome home celebration. My testimony is I know this the TRUE church, Joseph Smith is a prophet and I am so thankful that he asked Heavenly Father for the true church because without that question I would be lost. The Gospel has changed my life forever, 5 years sober, HAPPY marriage, and I found that missing piece in a heart God’s love.  I am also happy to report a month later my daughter was baptized, and five months later my hubby joined the church. To date we have three kids baptized and another coming Baptism coming in September. The best part was our family being sealed together for all eternity on Sept 7, 2013.

Katrina Brooks temple
Thank you Katrina!
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Comments

  1. What an amazing conversion story. Thank you so much for being willing to share it. I love the picture of your family all in white – it’s perfect.

  2. AuntSue
    How wonderful to bring your family into the Church of Jesus Christ. A great, big, family encircling HUG for all of you!

  3. That family pictures with all those sweet little girls in white dresses in front of the temple! So gorgeous. I’m so glad you kept looking for the right church!

  4. Katrina – your story is awesome!! I’m so glad you found peace and happiness and that your family could join you. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!

  5. Thanks everyone for your amazing comments!! I never thought I would be an inspirational person!! I truly appreciate it and to know we are link by the Gospel is AWESOME!! Thank you guys for taking the time to read it 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing Katrina. (who shares a beautiful name with my sweet daughter) My heart was touched by your story, and it caused me to reflect on how I am doing in opening my arms to welcome and embrace newcomers – as well as how we are doing in primary – wondering if a child coming into our primary would leave, being able to share lots of things they learned about Jesus. I think I have some room to improve. HUGS to YOU!

  7. Hi Katrina! We were in the same branch as you (Gushikawa branch) in Okinawa. I love your conversion story. I wish I would have known then. I would have loved to have known you better. I remember your girls were so well behaved at church.

  8. What an unbelievably beautiful family you have! So happy that you have found us and that we now have you!

  9. Katrina, great story. If your hubby is still in the service, you already know that you are a special group of people that are part of a very special group even within the church. Most of my adult life was spent “in the mission field”. you reminded me of the great feelings we had teaching and fellowshipping. Keep up the good work that brought you such happiness.
    When we were in Korea…a few years ago…my wife actually had a job that was more like visiting teaching that work. The difference was, she was responsible for visiting non-member wives and making sure that they were ok while their husbands were working.

  10. Katrina…I love your energy and your enthusiasm about the gospel. I’m so glad you joined the Church. We need people like you.

  11. You have such a beautiful family! I really enjoyed reading your story. So inspirational and humorous too!

  12. Katrina, I loved your story! It is amazing to look back and see God’s hand in your life – and to see where you went with it. Thanks for sharing such a great conversion story!

  13. I love conversion stories and this was a great one! Thank you for sharing your story. The church is Christ’s true church!

  14. Huzzah, Katrina! I too traded booze for a testimony and have never regretted it. (40 years ago, come August) Love your conversion story!

  15. Loved your story Katrina it was a blessing for me to read it today. You have a beautiful family

  16. I can attest to the beautiful spirit this woman has. Trina, I love you my dear friend. What an amazing woman, sister, example, mother, and friend you are. One of my biggest blessings in life was to have a friend like you.

  17. Thank you for sharing your story! As a convert myself, I love hearing different people’s conversion stories and all of the many ways that different people come to the Gospel. What a blessing for your beautiful family that you stuck with it and persevered!

  18. I agree with Andrea, she sounds like someone I’d like to know! So glad you found the gospel and true joy! Blessings to you Katrina!

  19. Wow, that was beautiful!! Thank you Katrina, I’m so glad you found your way to the Truth. What a strong and determined spirit you are!! …and a great blessing to your family and many others. I am humbled by your story. [hugs!]

  20. Oh Katrina, my heart is just so full because of your story. Your testimony is beautiful and so is your family. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  21. Being a convert is so wonderful!! You KNOW what it’s like to sacrifice in order to be baptized & you KNOW what the Spirit feels like when it testifies to you & years later the feeling that you were blessed beyond measure is stronger than ever.

    1. I just said this exact comment to my husband before reading yours. 🙂 The stories ARE so inspiring!

  22. Love this! Sounds like someone I’d like to meet in person! So glad you found the Gospel. {hugs}

  23. Sometimes I forget how completely the Spirit can and does change lives and hearts. Thank you Katrina, for reminding me.

  24. I totally am sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks,as I feel the sweetness of her conversion and the life altering consequences. How blessed we are that the truth is on the Earth and available to all who seek and want to find God.

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