For blogger Middle-Aged Mormon Man, it was an easy decision to turn the first International Hug a Convert Day from last year into a yearly event. Nearly 12 months later, he never imagined the second annual Hug A Convert Day set for this Sunday would get this big, this quick.
“I received so many stories that I had to ditch my original plan of running them all on June 2,” said Middle-aged Mormon Man, who operates an LDS blog with more than a million page views under a pseudonym.
“I have been posting multiple stories every day this week, and more are coming in,” he said. “And each one is perfect.”
For MMM, inspiration for the first Hug a Convert Day happened while reading conversion stories from his family history.
“Would I have had the courage to make that leap?” he asked himself, a humbling question for sure.
He wrote a blog post on June 3, 2012, to show his admiration for those willing to accept the truth and be baptized.
“The idea of declaring the First International Hug a Convert Day was mostly “chutzpah,” he said. “But then the comments and stories started rolling in. Within a few hours it became something very real, very serious, and something I decided I would do every year.”
Once again, he’s been deeply touched as he has prepared stories of conversion from people all over the world, of people who experienced divine intervention and witnessed God’s hand as they were prepared to hear the gospel.
There’s the story of Danielle C. Queiroz de Souza from Brazil who felt impressed to study English at an early age while not knowing why. After leaving the Catholic Church at age 12 because of lingering questions, Danielle avoided any church for the next eight years.
Nearly a decade later, Danielle was age 20 and looking to regain her faith. When the missionaries knocked on the door of her parents’ home, agreeing to be baptized seemed like the most logical step in the world.
She never fully realized why she felt prompted to learn English until after she was baptized. As a new member, Danielle was honored to translate for Sis. Marjorie Hinckley and other church officials who visited Brazil. She was able to meet Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley and other General Authorities who visited, bolstering her young testimony.
For Joyce Moseley Pierce, it was the wedding of Donny Osmond that sparked her interest in the church. While she and her daughter, Joey, felt something special from the first discussion, her husband resisted, refusing to allow any family member to join “that crazy church.” After Joyce and her daughter fasted and prayed, her husband changed his mind within a week and they were both baptized. For the next 20 years, her husband hated their involvement and tried everything to keep them from going.
It didn’t work. Joey maintained her faith and married her sweetheart in the Manti, Utah, temple. Her father’s heart continued to soften until he finally agreed to be baptized after attending a regional conference and listening to Pres. Hinckley. Joyce and her husband have now been married in the temple for 15 years and had Joey sealed to them.
“Each story reaffirms my knowledge that God is aware of each of us individually,” said Middle-aged Mormon Man. “It also reminds me that I had better be prepared and available for when He needs me to pitch in.”
To read more about these and other stories, visit middle-agedmormonman.blogspot.com.