March 12, 2011

Jeremie Flanigan

There once was a place called Kalispell, Montana. In fact, if you travel about 450 miles north west from Billings you may still find it. In that little town lived a man; his name is Jeremie Flanigan.

I was serving with Sister Ivie during the summer of 2010. We spent many a day tracting, contacting, and praying for success. God answers prayers, this time he did it in the form of a referral.

I first heard of Jeremie Flanigan from an Elder who had gotten a referral for someone in our area. He passed off the address and the information, and told us that the woman who gave the referral was adamant that we contact him immediately. So, we call Jeremie. I had gotten referrals like these before... and nothing really come from them. I will admit that I thought this was going to be a similar story. But we called Jeremie right away; he answered, and he invited us over that night to talk with him. I'll never forget that phone call. There was something in his voice, I later came to identify it as hope, and conviction.

After getting off the phone with Jeremie, we called Debbie Loveless the woman who gave us the referral. We told her about contacting Jeremie, and that we were going over that night to teach him. "Oh, hunny, you don't actually plan on teaching him do you?" She asked. In my mind I thought, "Well, isn't that what we do?" So, not quite sure what to expect, we knock on his door.

What followed was one of the most exciting and humbling moments of my mission. I was introduced to a child of God who had been prepared to hear the gospel. Jeremie was very anxious to learn. His life had brought him to a point where all he could go was up. I've never seen a person so anxious to drink in the waters of everlasting life. Indeed, Jeremie had been led to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Before Sister Ivie and I came into the picture, the Lord had been hard at work in Jeremie's life. It was his attendance at a sacrament meeting in Casper, Wyoming that ignited the fire within his heart. We taught Jeremie of how there was a modern prophet on the earth. We taught him of the church that Jesus Christ established, and how that church had been lost for a time. But we taught him that because God loves his children, he once again had called a prophet, and that prophet had restored the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today.

"But Jeremie, don't take our word for it," we said. "We know these things are true, but so can you." How? "Ask God," we said. "He'll tell you." Jeremie had been given a copy of the Book of Mormon by his brother, ad had already begun to read it. We testified of the truthfulness of that book, and of how it had changed both of our lives. Jeremie did read, and as he did, he prayed. God answered his prayers, and he too came to know that the Book of Mormon was true; that there is a prophet on the earth today; that Christ's church has been restored by a prophet.

Jeremie accepted the invitation to be baptized on August 28, 2010. There were a couple of things he had to do in order to prepare. One of them, was to quit tobacco. Jeremie Flanigan was the most determined person I ever saw to change his life, and enter into the waters of baptism. He wasn't about to let anything get in his way. He would read the Book of Mormon, and we watched it change his life as well.

On August 28, 2010, Jeremie Flanigan was baptized. I had the opportunity and privilege to watch the Atonement of Jesus Christ change someones life. In the process, mine has forever been impacted as well.

Here is Jeremie's conversion story in his own words:

"I had the spirit of conviction I knew I was going down an endless road. In July of 2010 my nephew spoke at church and brought me to tears. He talked about Christ and how its not to late to turn to him. I knew he spoke of the truth of Christ that day. And his grandma knew missionaries in Kalispell, Montana and asked me if it would be ok if they preached the gospel to me. I said ok why not? And shortly after coming home the missionaries (Sister Ivie and Sister Buchanan) knocked on my door and gave me lessons about the church, they helped me quit all of my worldly ways with the help of prayer and Jesus Christ. My nephew is serving in Mexico now I know now he is a great example of Christ for Christ. The gospel is true."

I testify that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth today. God speaks to us through a prophet. The Book of Mormon is true. It changes lives. The Atonement is real. Jesus is the Christ. Don't take my word for it, though. Ask God. He'll tell you.