I’ve found that it’s hard for me to recount my experience in absolute order.  It’s been so long, and I didn’t keep a very detailed journal at the time…  In fact, most of my entries during this whole experience was either about Jacob and how cute he was, or just parroting whatever a missionary or other Mormon had told me.  I think that’s very telling of what my actual focus was during all this.  So I think that whenever a particular story or person comes to mind I’ll share a little here.

Recently Jared and I saw Book of Mormon at the Pantages in LA. It was wonderful, and I’ll share more about the show and my thoughts later, but ever since then I’ve been thinking a lot about the missionaries that taught me prior to my baptism.  Honestly, most of them were as dry as day old toast, and I couldn’t tell you much about them.  I don’t even remember the name of the missionary who baptized me off the top of my head.  But there is one Elder that I do remember very clearly.  Elder Wurtzbacher.

Elder Wurtzbacher was from Detroit.  Elder Wurtzbacher was the first black Mormon I ever met.  Elder Wurtzbacher was quite the charmer.  He must have been the star pupil at the Missionary Training Center because damn was he good.  I had a bit of a crush/infatuation with Elder Wurtzbacher.  I may or may not have found him on Facebook to see if he is as cute as I remember confirm the spelling of his last name.  (He’s still pretty cute.)

He was one of the first two missionaries I met with.  His companion was Elder Humphries (if I recall correctly).  Elder Wurtzbacher was the first Elder to leave me.  I was really upset, because I really wanted him to be the one to baptize me.

He was a smooth talker.  I remember wanting to read the whole Book of Mormon before taking the plunge.  (Yes, that was a pun.  No I am not sorry.)  He asked me what my favorite dessert was.  I told him it was peppermint ice cream.

“Oh peppermint ice cream!  Great choice!  Now, Alissa, when you open that carton of peppermint ice cream and scoop out your first creamy spoonful, you know it’s good, right?  Do you have to eat the whole thing to know you like it?  Or is one bite enough to commit?  You know you’ll want the whole thing after that one bite.”

As an adult I know that the logic of that comparison is flawed, to say the very least.  But Elder Wurtzbacher made it seem so logical!  Through my Facebook research I have found that he is currently attending a school of dentistry, but I think he would have a very successful career in politics.

I was so shy and hesitant and scared during those first meetings with the missionaries.  Sometimes I wonder if Elder Wurtzbacher hadn’t been there if I ever would have converted, or if it would have taken a lot longer.


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