Punk Rock Hugs for Keeley Brooks!

Once upon a time I was a frustrated gothic punk living in England.  Frustrated because I wanted to dye my hair black and my parents wouldn’t let me.

Anyway, When I was 15 I had a friend whose mother joined the church and my friend and I were totally weirded out by this.

Then a year later my friend joined herself and I was all, “WOAH! See ya!” and hung around with dudes dressed all in black and dudes dressed as ladies and I went to Cramps concerts and live showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and wore black make up and what not.

Anyway, I heard my friend’s mother had cancer.  So that was pretty sad.

My sister was a nanny.  I was 17 and had just finished up the equivalent of high school. My sister needed someone to look after the kids for one day as she couldn’t do it.  So I filled in for her.  It was only for a few hours.  Like 10-3 or something.

So I turn up and decide to take them downtown so I load them in the pram and off we went for a few hours.  Came back about half an hour before the Mum was going to turn up.

So there I was, on a street I’d never been to before, in a house I never went to again, for half an hour.

At that point in time there were two missionaries staring down the street, running out of time.  They prayed about which side to tract down.  Then they only knocked on every other door.

And guess what?  They hit mine.

As I had been thinking about my friend’s Mum, wondering how she was doing, I opened the door, saw it was the missionaries, and before they could say anything said, “MORMON MISSIONARIES!!!  Come on in!!!”

And I proceeded them into the house….but when I turned around to offer them a chair they weren’t there.

So I backtracked to the door and they were standing there with their mouths open.

I invited them in again, and asked them about my friend’s Mum and what not.

When it was time for them to leave they offered me a book of Mormon and as I – EXTREMELY reluctantly – took it I thought, “Oh no.  I’m never going to get rid of them now.”

We set an appointment for the following Tuesday and I fully intended to hand the book back to them, say, “No thank you”, and shut the door before they could get a word in edgeways.

So Monday night as I’m getting in bed I think, “OH NO!  I haven’t read the scriptures they gave me to read!”   ???!!!!?!?!

So I read them.  And when they came around I invited them in.  And they taught me.  Elder Biggs wrote down the steps of how to pray.  He asked me to pray so I used that little guide.  I still have it in my scriptures.

The next time they asked me to be baptized and I had to hide my face because all of sudden I was crying and I was so confused.  I didn’t understand why I was crying.  I was so embarrassed.  Elder Biggs cleared his throat and said, “What you’re feeling is the Spirit.” and I looked up and he had tears in his eyes too, so I didn’t feel so bad.

I needed to quit smoking.  That was hard, but I firmly believe the Lord helped me with it.  I quit….and then couldn’t take it…I just needed to smoke, so I bummed a cigarette off someone.  Holy toledo, that cigarette made me so nauseous.  I’m thankful for that.  If it hadn’t, I don’t believe I would have been baptized.

One night I went to the movies with some friends.  I don’t remember the film.  What I do remember is the fight going on inside of me, with one part of me saying, “This is the stupidest thing!  It’s so dumb!  Why are you getting baptized?  Why are you giving up smoking and drinking and coffee?  You’re just being stupid!” and another part thinking I should be baptized.

Then finally I thought, “No.  This is not stupid.  I’m going to do it.  I’m going to be baptized.”  and I firmly made the decision.

And it seemed to me right then that the film ended and the lights in the cinema came on and I stood up and realized I had tears in my eyes and was smiling big enough to crack my face in half.

My parents were pretty much against me joining the church and at one point I thought I might have to leave home in order to join.  I was ok with that.  To me, that would be an easy thing to do in order to join.  I wanted to be baptized so badly, that nothing else was relevant.

After raking the missionaries over the coals one evening, my parents said to me, “Ok, you can join.  The sooner you join, the sooner you realize it’s rubbish, the sooner you leave.”

So, three weeks after I first met the missionaries, I was baptized in Loughborough on the 150th anniversary of the church in Britain.  That was 30 years ago this year.  I’m still in contact with the missionaries who taught, baptized, and confirmed me, Elders Pitkin and Biggs.  I changed a lot within those three weeks, from gothic punk to faithful member.

Still have a punky attitude at times though.

Thanks, Keeley!

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  1. What a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing. I love how so many of us come from diverse backgrounds and still have the gospel in common!

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