I have the great pleasure of being Sherry’s visiting teacher. In the short time since her baptism, she has completely turned her life over to God, dedicating her time and talents to helping out with the missionary efforts among the Chinese members in L.A. Her service is invaluable and her testimony inspiring. I feel lucky to call her a friend.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Sherry Hu. I was born and grew up in China. My hometown is Shanghai but I also spent a couple of years in Beijing for family reasons and career development. I worked as a Human Resources professional for fifteen years in multinational companies in China. I immigrated to the US and settled down in Los Angeles with my son in late 2013.
Tell us about your first exposure to the LDS Church. What was your life situation like at that time?
Two weeks after I arrived in L.A., I had a chance to get to know God by coincidence. I started attending Sunday school at church, listening to sermons, praying and doing bible study with other brothers and sisters in Christ. I was deeply impressed by God’s words. Trusting in God, I was baptized in a Chinese church on Easter Day of 2014. After that, I continued praying, studying the bible, attending the fellowship and worship in addition to being a fulltime mom taking care of my son. Life seemed easy for me even though I didn’t know what I was going to do in the future.
When it was close to the end of 2014, I had a chance to meet with a Mormon. He introduced Mormonism’s beliefs and values to me and challenged me that God gave me many talents and I should leverage them better to serve others instead of enjoying my current easy life. I was annoyed at first then became curious about the LDS church. The person was so passionate about his beliefs and he took me to the visitors center to get the Book of Mormon in Chinese and connected me with the Sister Missionaries who were serving in my area.
What was your initial perception of the LDS church or its members?
Learning from the Book of Mormon, I knew the LDS church was a restored church with restored authority from God. Through the Restoration, the Priesthood was returned to the earth. And only those who hold this Priesthood have the authority to perform ordinances such as baptism. I visited the church for the first time on Feb 22nd, 2015. I was a little bit nervous going to a new church where most members were American but everyone there was very kind and they welcomed me by shaking hands or hugging me. In parallel, I found they were quick to get emotional and even tearful when they bore their testimony.
Who was instrumental in helping teach you the Restored Gospel?
The sister missionaries taught me the restored gospel 2-3 times a week since we met in mid February. They also encouraged me to read the Book of Mormon every day. In parallel, I browsed LDS.org and read the Gospel Principles manual to grasp the information as much as I could.
What struggles did you face while investigating the LDS church?
Although I knew Heavenly Father wanted me to join the church, the biggest concern was that I might lose all the friends in the Chinese church I used to go to. The pastor there tried very hard to convince me not to go to the LDS church. At that time as I was scared about driving, I was relying on their help with transportation in my daily life, e.g. sending my son to school, taking him home, going shopping, etc. I could not imagine how messy my life would be if I lost their help. I prayed to God for my struggles and later on I realized if I followed His will, I should believe I would receive more blessings. Faith is the courage to make changes, isn’t it?
Tell us about your baptism/confirmation day.
I got baptized on the third Sunday I visited the church. I was very worried about the logistics as I only knew the two Sister Missionaries and two sisters who gave me a ride on Sunday. Who would come back to attend a stranger’s baptism after a three-hour church session? To my surprise everything turned out perfectly. The agenda was arranged and printed out in advance. The room was almost full and the refreshments smelled so good. When I came out of the water, I felt clean and peaceful. I am a level-headed person but when I bore my testimony, I became emotional as I was so excited that my new journey started with all the blessings from our Heavenly Father.
How has the decision to be baptized changed your life?
I’ve felt my life has become more meaningful and passionate than it has been in a long time. I have received many blessings from God, and the principle of faith has been helping me to tackle different problems in my life. When I drive on the way to the church or to someone’s home for service, I am so grateful that God has given me the courage to learn how to drive after suffering in LA for 18 months without driving! I am so grateful that I have many opportunities to serve others even though I am a brand new member. I am experiencing so many blessings from God — my son got baptized three months after my baptism.
What is one thing you now know that you wish others could know or understand as well?
I felt the big difference between the two baptisms in my life so I can testify that only those who hold the Priesthood with restored authority can perform ordinances such as baptism. I have felt the Holy Ghost with me to teach, guide, and motivate me every day since I was baptized/confirmed in the LDS church. In addition, Heavenly Father does listen to our prayers but He has his own time table. Therefore, have faith in the Lord’s timing and keep his commandments, you will be blessed.