As a young man, Kamran had grown up in the densely populated town of Madurai, India. Modern technology soon made him aware of opportunities for education and wealth in other parts of the world. In September 2009, he made the decision to leave his family and travel 12,000 kilometers to Nova Scotia, Canada.
In July 2010, he enrolled in college courses. On his way to an English class, he was approached by two young women carrying a copy of the Book of Mormon. Kamran’s thoughts resorted to his culture. “I’m from India, and I’m Hindu. My father has a good reputation in our community. No! I can’t take this Christian literature,” he said to himself. The missionaries put away the Book of Mormon and asked for Kamran’s telephone number. Within a few days, he met the same missionaries again. “Do you have the time for us to meet at your home?” they pled. “I didn’t answer them,” says Kamran. “I went back home and told my roommate that they keep calling me.” He asked, “What religion are they?” “Mormons,” Kamran replied. The roommate’s answer intrigued Kamran. “They are good people. Maybe you should talk to them.” The roommate then offered the Mormon literature he had collected. Kamran’s thoughts began to swirl. He remembered the religion of his father that had many gods. He felt aloof from those traditional teachings. “I always believed in one God,” he recalls.
When he met with the missionaries, their teachings struck a chord with Kamran. The missionaries said, “We believe in one God, we believe in Jesus Christ.” When they opened the Book of Mormon, he felt a strong spirit, and thought, “Maybe I will read this book when I go home.”
But Kamran felt anxious about what his family would think. “I was so scared of my family. I never believed in religion before, and I just wanted to live my life.”
One weekend he realized that he had enough time to attend church. “When I went for the first time, I felt so much peace. The topic was on prayer and faith. I told the missionaries that I felt so good.”
Though Kamran’s employment often interfered with church attendance, his questions about the gospel of Jesus Christ began to accumulate. “When I met with the missionaries, I asked, ‘What is this? What is this?’ Every time, they taught me good principles that I could put into my life.”
With his faith in Jesus Christ increasing, Kamran realized that he had a dilemma – he needed to tell his family about his feelings. “When I told my family everything, my dad just flipped out,” he remembers. ‘Kamran, don’t do this! Just stop it! Don’t break our chain, never go against our religion!’”
The experience confused Kamran. It became difficult to attend church meetings, and his study of The Book of Mormon became irregular. The strident warnings from his family echoed in his mind. Then a new problem complicated his life. “In 2010, I was fired from my job. I walked home very slowly, feeling very sad. When I saw two sister missionaries, I tried to walk around them.” The missionaries recognized Kamran and asked about his sad countenance. He explained that he had lost his job. At the sisters’ invitation, he agreed to attend church the next day. “When they began to sing hymns, I prayed to the Lord, explaining that I need to have a job,” says Kamran. “Then, I felt peace.”
Though still unemployed, he continued to feel peaceful for the next few days. “Then I got a call from my previous manager. He wanted to talk to me.” When Kamran entered the office, the manager explained that the employees had signed a petition to restore his job. “Everyone loves you here,” explained the boss. “We need you back and you can choose your own shift.” Kamran selected a schedule that allowed him to attend church meetings. “That gave me a turning point,” he says. “I went to church every Sunday. I gained a better testimony and everything went upside for me.”
Though Kamran began studying with the missionaries again, another matter clouded his feelings – his father and family. “They said, ‘You are against the family and our religion!’ They sent me a notice saying that I was not their son. Then when my grandfather died, they did not tell me,” Kamran remembers. “I was so sad about my family. At the same time, I was loved by members of the Church.”
Following two years of emotional and spiritual struggle, Kamran made an important decision. “One day after I met with the missionaries, I went home and prayed very hard. Then I called the missionaries and said, ‘I would like to get baptized in two days.’”
“Though I prayed, read the scriptures and became a new person, I was still sad about my family.” His father told him that he had broken the hearts of his family members. One other complication entered Kamran’s life. One of the missionaries who had given him The Book of Mormon and had taught him, arrived at the end of her mission. He had felt a stronger-than-usual friendship towards her.
When her mission ended, “We communicated on Facebook and Skype,” says Kamran. “Then I went to Utah to see her. We decided to get married, had the wedding planned and invitations sent.” Kamran realized that another important matter must be resolved first. “I called her and said, ‘It’s not the right time. I have to go to India and get my family to accept us. I know that’s what God wants me to do.’”
So Kamran traveled to his homeland and spent hours talking with his parents and other family members. His time with the family began to melt disappointments of the past.
When he returned to America, the family continued video conversations over the Internet. “I don’t know how, but at one point, they were ready to accept her,” says Kamran. In an internet meeting, the future bride and groom met his family. “The first time Dad saw her, Kamran said, ‘She’s so beautiful.’ We talked for 30 minutes, he called her his ‘daughter,’ and then said, ‘God bless you, child.’ To me, he said, ‘Go and get married, my son.’”
“We had prayed and cried to the Lord every day that we would have our parents’ blessings. Her parents were supportive from the beginning, but that change of heart from my father was a blessing I thought would never come. It was a tough journey,” recalls Kamran, “but now it is like a dream to us. What we went through for nearly three years – it all makes sense. When you are down with all the sadness, you can always lean to God for help. It happened to us – our prayers were answered.”