I met her a few years ago while waiting at church one Thursday night. She is one that basically had a 4.0 in college, told the Lord that if she didn't get into the nursing program (it would only take God's hand to keep her out with how awesome her transcripts were) that she would take that as she needed to go on a mission. Ask and it shall be given you! Kristina didn't make it into the program.
As a result of this faithful girl's commitments, she made a list about every thing she would give up if the Lord would help her get on a mission. Change friends, which meant for a time she didn't have any close friends. She changed her music, studied her scriptures, prayed morning and night and attend all her church meetings. When she shared her list with me I told her she had just made a list that would turn her into daughter of God! And boy did it ever! She is now a sister missionary serving in the Illinois Chicago Mission!
Her email was filled with miracle after miracle... but this story was extra touching to read. A great reminder--when you know something is true, what are you willing to give up/sacrifice in order to keep what you know to be true? Give up a loved one? Sleep in a homeless shelter to keep a commandment...?! How fitting for Kristina to have this woman come into her life. For Kristina too--knows about keeping commandments and making personal sacrifices. This little story and testimony moved me.
Exert taken from Sister Kristina Howell's email to her family:
...She's so awesome. Her name is Jackie and she really wants to get baptized, except she's living with her boyfriend and they have kids together and she's pregnant. He didn't want to marry her, so we didn't think baptism would be an option, but this week when we visited her, she told us that she wanted to get baptized and knew that they needed to get married or she needed to move out before that could happen. So apparently she went and stayed at the homeless shelter for 2 days, and that gave her boyfriend a wakeup call, and they're going to be getting married in 2 weeks and then she'll be baptized the week after that! It's amazing how the Lord will bless us and open ways to keep his commandments when we do everything in our power to keep those commandments!!!AMEN!
I know that this Gospel is so true and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God! I know that there's such a power to the Book of Mormon that has the power to change our lives if we're just willing to open it and to read it and to apply it to our lives!! I know that true happiness can only come through the Gospel of Jesus Christ!! I'm so thankful for the chance that Heavenly Father has given to me to get to share that message with the people of Chicago!!!!