Changing Within: Soyer’s Story

This summer, I had the opportunity to go on a HumanitarianXP trip for about three weeks to Ixtapa, Mexico to help build a school for children. I was looking forward to the trip a ton and was super excited about it before I left!

When I decided to go, the church aspect of the trip was the last thing on my mind and the part I was least looking forward to. So, you can imagine my face when we got there and they told us that we would do devotionals, pray, and read scriptures every morning and at night.

At the time, I was in a difficult place in my life and didn’t even know if going to church was what I wanted in life. 

On the first day of the trip, my Trip Leaders challenged us to pray everyday for something we wanted an answer to. The goal was that by the end of the trip, we would find our answer. I thought hard, but didn’t know what I wanted an answer to. I felt like I already had my answer, and that going to church was not what I wanted. On one of the Sundays, about a week into the trip, we went around and knocked doors with the missionaries. While we were there, we went to a house and taught this old couple and they told us how they were so grateful for God. They said they had felt lost and in the dark for so long, but now that they have Christ in their life all they feel is God’s light.

Prior to this, I had never really felt the spirit before and had lost touch with it, but in that moment a warm feeling came over me. I got an answer to a question I had never even thought of or prayed for—that it’s never too late to turn back to Christ, and God cares about me personally. Just like them, God knows my challenges and what I’m going through, and if I turn to Him I can feel His light.

On another night, we had a devotional and it was my Trip Leader’s turn to give it. He showed us a video called If You Love Me Feed My Sheep (watch here). I remember sitting there listening to the video and feeling the spirit so strong, knowing that God loves us all and cares about us personally.

Another miracle I experienced was that one night, I was super sick and not feeling good, so I asked my Trip Leader for a blessing. He blessed me that I would wake up feeling better and be able to work on the worksite the next day. I woke up in the morning and still felt sick, but decided to still go to the worksite anyway. When I got there, I felt better and was able to work throughout the day. After the work day was over, I went back to feeling sick. I’m so grateful for that miracle I experienced, and that I was able to work through that day. 

One of my favorite things about the worksite was the foremen. They were all so kind and selfless. One of the guys helping us finish the school was working with us while his whole family was in California. Even though they had received their visas were gone, he wanted to stay back to finish the job. This man had so little but was still willing to sacrifice so much to help the kids. After watching him be so selfless, it didn’t take long to see how much I have and take for granted.

One night, we went to a recent convert’s house. To get to her house, we had to walk up a hill that was all rubble, broken concrete, and super steep. She had two kids and the father was not around. She had to walk down that hill every morning to get water for her kids, then walk back up the steep, broken road to get back home. Despite her circumstances, she was so happy and grateful. God meant so much to her and she found happiness in knowing about Him. 

I’m so glad I was able to witness all the miracles I saw and have the opportunity to help build a school for the kids that needed it and I’m grateful for the way it helped my testimony grow and point me in the right direction in my life and come to know God.