Converts share experiences about general conference

Published: Thursday, April 4 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

General conference is the one event where Latter-day Saints around the world are gathered together simultaneously for one purpose of learning.

For those members who grew up in the LDS faith, general conference may have gone from being an obligation to an opportunity and finally to something they look forward to.

For those who are converted to the faith in their older years, general conference can be a unique thing to experience for the first time.

Trinity Fletcher was baptized as an 8-year-old after attending church for a couple of years by herself. Although she was technically a member, she began to attend a nondenominational Christian church with her mother, and didn’t return to an LDS church until she was a senior in high school.

Growing up in Utah, Fletcher was surrounded by Mormons; however, in the church she grew up in, she was taught very strongly against the LDS religion.

“I think if (the LDS Church) would have been less dominant, I would have been more interested,” Fletcher said. “I was just always scared that someone would push me into it.”

After years of resisting, one friend in particular helped Fletcher look into the church, and she became active in the faith in the spring of 2010.

Shortly after her conversion, she was able to watch her first general conference. Fletcher felt excited to watch it because she’d heard about it for years and had never understood exactly what it was.

The April 2010 general conference felt like a blur to Fletcher. She remembers feeling several different emotions and taking a lot of notes, but it wasn’t until October of the same year that she remembers a specific talk that changed her perspective on an important topic.

“When I heard that talk, I felt so much truth and the more I listened, the more I understood why marriage between a man and a woman is so important,” Fletcher said.

Throughout the last three years, it’s been the words of apostles she’s either read or listened to that have helped Fletcher feel fully converted.

“If you go to general conference and are really attentive and seek to feel the Spirit, the questions in your heart are always answered,” Fletcher said. “Even if there isn’t a talk about that certain thing, that’s just how the power of the Spirit works. I know the apostles are in tune with the Spirit.”

Daniel Cuello joined the church in his late teens.

Cuello grew up in Washington state, where there were quite a few LDS people, including some of his friends.

After his high school graduation in 2008, Cuello began spending a lot of time with his friend Brett Clyde, who happened to be LDS and took Cuello to church with him.

After the two took a trip to Salt Lake City to visit Temple Square and other church history sites, Cuello began taking the missionary discussions and was baptized in September 2008.

Cuello first watched general conference in October 2008, and although he had a hard time staying awake after working late the night before, he can remember the comfort he felt during the talk “Hope You Know We Had a Hard Time,” by Elder Quentin L. Cook.

“I was having a rough time with my family since joining the church and I felt like they made fun of me a lot for it,” Cuello said. “During that general conference, all the stuff I did get to watch was centered around getting through trials, and that’s what I needed to hear.”

General conference continued to bless Cuello’s life while he was on a mission in Independence, Mo.

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