Tricia Bowers has six younger brothers. She has a Master’s degree in Literacy and taught school for several years, finishing up her career with four years as a Reading Specialist. She learned Russian in Ukraine when she served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She now revels in her work as a wife and a mother.
I decided that I wanted to share my testimony in this “Why I believe” series, and immediately several important experiences came to mind. I have seen miracles. I have participated in miracles. Many spiritual moments in my life combine like colored bits of glass to form the ever growing mosaic that is my testimony. The experience I decided to share is not glamorous or impressive, but it is central to my spiritual knowledge.
While preparing to serve as a full time missionary in Ukraine, I was in the Missionary Training Center to learn rudimentary Russian and how to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who were unfamiliar with it. I loved my time in the MTC, but it was extremely challenging. I had always felt smart and capable in learning situations, and suddenly was struggling to learn a language that was absolutely foreign to me. (Pun intended!) In fact, I felt like I was behind most of the other missionaries learning Russian with me, despite dedicating many extra hours to study and praying many times a day for help.
One evening as I went to bed, I felt wretched. I felt ugly and incapable, and “imperfections” seemed too kind a word to describe my many flaws. We had been studying about Jesus Christ, and bringing his message of salvation to others, but I wondered, “Why would anyone want to save the likes of me?” I knelt and poured out my heart to my Heavenly Father, feeling that all my brokenness and ugliness was uncovered before Him. Then I asked, “Did He really do it for ME? Almost before the words were thought, a piercing “Yes.” echoed through my mind. Yes. Even you.
I bear testimony that Jesus Christ is MY Savior. He can heal, fix, or resolve any problem. He conquered death and evil and everything that stems from them. Through His power, I can transcend my issues and thrive. I can be whole, and can rejoice. I rejoiced as I taught new friends in Ukraine about my Savior (in Russian, which I did learn adequately), and saw and felt that His mighty love and power extended to them as well. I have rejoiced many times since then as I’ve witnessed His power working in my life and in others’ lives. I would wish for the knowledge that I gained that night to be received by each person. Jesus is not an abstract Savior– He is mine and yours.