I was about 7 years old, and in the second grade, when my best friend who lived across the street started studying with a pioneer sister who found her in the door to door work.
My friend quickly started sharing with me the things she was learning. It really impressed me. Then she showed me she was being taught out of the My Book of Bible Stories. I had that book at home. My mom had studied when I was a baby but did not make any progress and the sister discontinued her study. Yet, would come by every once in a while with new releases to share with my mom. One of them being the My Book of Bible stories when it was released. It had been one of my favorite books. I loved the last illustration the most in it. Where the three children were sitting and reading the book together. Each child being of a different race. That illustration had fascinated me for years. Now I have a daughter, and she also tells me that is her favorite illustration in the entire book. I thought I was unusual for it being my favorite, when there are so many illustrations of parks, and paradise, yet that was always the one that stood out to me. And now it does to my middle child as well.
So I ran home and dug the My Book of Bible Stories out of my room, and had it all ready for the next Bible study. However, the sister was not as anxious to study with me, as I was with her. So she would not study with me, and sent me home. That happened three weeks in row. Til, I said, No, I was not going to leave, that she couldn't make me leave since it wasn't her home. So she agreed to study with me. Then, she got a little scared, and said, I think we better be asking your mother if this is ok. So she walked me home to talk to my mom about studying with me. My mom said it was ok, and accepted the Live Forever book from her.
After the sister left though, my mom tried to talk me out of it. Said that they didn't celebrate holidays, and if I was going to study with them, I couldn't do both things... I either had to be a witness or be baptist I couldn't do both. I said that was ok, every thing we had learned today we had read in the Bible. So if they don't believe in holidays, there must be a reason from the Bible, so why should we celebrate them? (I went to Baptist my whole life and never was taught anything directly from the Bible.). Meanwhile my mom never cracked open the Live Forever book at all. And the sister would ask her about it each week.
It wasn't long and my friend was going to the meetings, well I wanted to go to the meetings too!!! But, the sister who studied with us had a lot going on in her own private life with her teenage sons, who were very rebellious, and at the time in and out of prison. She would get side tracked at the prison visiting them and forget to come and pick us up for meeting. So I would beg and beg my mom to take us. So one night, a Friday Theocratic Ministry School and Kingdom Ministry night, she said ok, I will take you this one time, but do not EVER ask me again. I said ok. So she took us. I tried to introduce her to every one I could, but she got embarrassed because she had came in a sweat suit and snow boots, just out of frustration of me begging her to take us. But, she never said anything about liking the meeting afterwards. Just that she felt embarrassed.
Sunday rolled around, and we all woke up and dressed for church. Was in the car, and then we came to a corner where you had to turn right to go to Emmanuel Baptist Church or left to go to the Kingdom Hall. My step father started to turn right, and my mom said no we are going left this morning. He said we will never get to the Baptist church if we turn left. And my mom said, we aren't going to Emanuel Baptist this morning, we are going Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall this morning. He said oh no we are not! And they sat and argued for a bit. And then he said ok, he would go, but not to ever do this to him again. I was sooo shocked, I hadn't expected her to want to go again! But, I was ecstatic!
So we get to the Kingdom Hall, and go to the meeting. After the meeting I was wanting to introduce them to every one, so we were at the back of the Kingdom Hall. And a elder came up and asked my step father our names. And my step father said, My name is Eldon D, this is my Girlfriend Theresa C., and her daughter Heather R. And the brothers said, all these last names and you all live in the same house? And my step dad said yes. He then said, why don't you marry Theresa? My stepfather said, I ask her every summer, and she says next winter, and every winter she says next summer. The brother turned to my mom and said, why don't you marry him? She said, because I was already married once, and vowed til death do us part, neither of us are dead yet. Right now, we're living in my house, and if I get mad at him or don't want to be with him any more, I can say hit the road jack!
The brother said, oh Eldon you need a Bible study! And they set up a Bible study for both my mom and step dad that day!
Later when asked why my step father agreed to a study, he said before the meeting began he didn't think Jehovah's Witnesses believed in Jesus, but after hearing them pray through his name, he knew that must be wrong, and was interested in what the truth was about them.
We all continued to study and grow in the truth. My step father and mother got married about 9 months later, and were baptized about 1 1/2 years after they were married. I was approved at the same time, but was scared of all the questions in the book, and being so young. So I waited another year and was baptized at 11 years old, in 1986 at a district convention.