I had the best job of my life one summer when I was 16 working for the Youth Conservation Corp. I really hit it off with a coworker and just because we clicked so well, it seemed like the rest of the crew kind of deferred to us socially.
I invited my friend to come to Youth Conference with me near the end of the summer and he did. He met several other kids there that he knew from his school. When we went back to work, he was telling a coworker how overwhelming this “good feeling” was that he had experienced there, particularly during testimony meeting. Up until this point this guy (the other coworker) had positioned himself as kind of a hotshot who wasn’t afraid to make a few crude comments about some of the girls so he surprised me when he indicated that he knew exactly what my friend was describing because he had felt it himself at youth revivals with his own church. My friend responded that it couldn’t have been anything like what he had felt – this was something different and much more.
Later, I helped him understand what is was by telling him about the Holy Ghost . He had such a good experience that I was able to get him to start taking the missionary discussions. But we lived about 45 minutes apart and he lost interest after a few discussions and cut it off so I didn’t see him again after that.
I left on my mission to Korea a few years later. His parents were Korean immigrants and his Grandmother lived with them. She didn’t speak a word of English and he didn’t speak a word of Korean. It seemed a bit providential that I was going on a mission to his family’s motherland and would probably be able to communicate with his Grandmother better than him. I wrote my friend and reminded him about the spirit he had felt at Youth Conference. I never heard back, which hurt a bit.
But I did have some remarkable spiritual experiences on my mission, two in particular. My companion and I were teaching an investigator the first discussion, whcih at the time was about the Savior. As I was giving the lesson, the spirit came into the room so strong you could cut it with a knife. My companion commented on it later without me first bringing it up. The investigator and his wife didn’t say anything about it, but I suspected that they had felt it too.
The other was when my Korean companion and I were previewing a film about the Three Witnesses that we were going to show an investigator. When Oliver Cowdery – after having apostatized – returned to the saints who were in progress of making their way across the plains to Utah gave his testimony I felt the spirit incredibly strong. When the film was over, my companion mentioned how he had felt the spirit during Olivier Cowdery’s testimony, at the same time I had felt it.
It was always remarkable to me whenever I felt the spirit if I found out later that someone else had felt it too, independent of my experience which really strengthened my assurance that it was indeed the spirit. This happened twice on my mission as just described and also with the sacrament at home experience I described in a separate post “My Faith Journey, Part 2.”