Project Conversion

Project Conversion


A Gift to my Mentor

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I had no intentions of making an entry today. Honestly, I’m worn out. I gave two talks today at two colleges about Project Conversion and my Zoroastrian month begins in a little under three hours.

But something amazing happened this evening at the last talk–in my Intro to World Religions class–that made this whole month worth the effort.

My Baha’i Mentor is the only Baha’i that we know of within many, many miles. She is a diaspora all to herself. In fact, I have been her sole Baha’i companion for the whole month. She lit up when I arrived every week at her home for Study Circle, ready to share the wisdom of her faith. We laughed over tea and delved into the teachings of Baha’u’llah. I could tell there was something missing every time we visited the Baha’i community in “Triangle” one and half hours north of us; the way she interacted with her Baha’i family, it was like a family reunion with gatherings too rare for comfort.

I wanted to do something for her to repay her for the kindness and dedication she showed for me and Project Conversion. I wanted to give her a Baha’i community of her own.

But this is near to impossible. How can a non-Baha’i (though my Baha’i friends call me otherwise) help someone come–or at least become interested–in the faith? Turns out, all I have to do is teach. The message does the rest.

So tonight, as I finished giving my last talk about the Baha’i Faith in the last hours of the last days of the month, I showed the class the Baha’i Declaration Card and a registration card asking for more information about the faith. One woman approached me and asked to fill out the card, and if possible, to speak to my Mentor. I was floored. This was the spark I was looking for. The spark that could become a new Baha’i. She filled out the card and I will personally hand it to my Mentor tomorrow afternoon. I called my Mentor about what had happened and I could feel the joy flowing off her voice. Not because she might get the chance to “convert” someone, but because she gets the chance to share her faith.

So, looks like I have been the best Baha’i I can be to the end. It’s been a wonderful month, an insightful month, and folks…we are only two months in. Who knows what’s around the corner. When I wake up, I’ll be a Zoroastrian. Until then,

Allah-u-Abha!



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abowen

posted February 5, 2012 at 12:49 am


Claudius,

I am glad you found yourself joyful coming to the Baha’i Faith! Blessings!



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Claudius

posted February 3, 2012 at 3:31 am


As familiar as I am with the path you’re treading, I’m still fascinated to no end to know how every step affects the rest of your life. I went through a similar experience between 1971 and 1975. I signed my Baha’i declaration card in October of 1975. Becoming a Baha’i still remains the most significant life-changing and most rewarding action of my life. I wish you joy.



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Sean M

posted November 1, 2011 at 6:54 am


I looked in that religion, I think the POV of the lady that asked for a memebership card was the same as what I see God/Jesus as….Not seeing God/Jesus as many being that stands alone, but as one being that goes into three or many part (father, son, and holy ghost). My understanding of the Baha’i understand of what you said in Mrs. Ulrich class was “one that make many part”. My understand is God was the father of Jesus that sent a human being on earht to show them the way and the light as well as understanding of the world. So, he “God” all seeing being that he is became three.



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abowen

posted October 28, 2011 at 11:16 am


Your Name,

I certainly hope so!



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Your Name

posted October 27, 2011 at 11:32 pm


That is so neat that someone would become interested in the Baha’i religion. I feel like it was meant to happen to keep you going in your journey. You said that you were worn out and didn’t think you were even going to make a post, then something amazing happened, a student deeply considering the religion. Your journey should inspire many people to take risks and get out of their comfort zone.



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s mclean

posted August 19, 2011 at 3:05 am


fascinating!



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rene knight-weiler

posted July 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm


Hi Mary. I am looking for a Baha’i named Mary Wilson who wrote an article for Spiritual Mothering Journal a couple decades ago! Is this you? What a wonderful place to find you, if so. I so enjoyed this blog post and am really inspired by it. Could you contact me (Rene Knight-Weiler, then editor of SMJ) at theland@gorge.net     Thank you! And thank you Andrew.



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rene knight-weiler

posted July 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm


Hi Mary. I am looking for a Baha’i named Mary Wilson who wrote an article for Spiritual Mothering Journal a couple decades ago! Is this you? What a wonderful place to find you, if so. I so enjoyed this blog post and am really inspired by it. Could you contact me (Rene Knight-Weiler, then editor of SMJ) at theland@gorge.net     Thank you! And thank you Andrew.



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Anonymous

posted May 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm


Thanks for dropping by Beth. I’m glad you enjoy the site!



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Anonymous

posted May 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm


Thanks for dropping by Beth. I’m glad you enjoy the site!



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Beth Irwin

posted May 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm


What a wonderful gift! I’m a Baha’i who only recently learned of your site. I’ve just shared this site with another gentleman who is on a similar quest. You have learned a great truth. The message speaks for itself.



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Beth Irwin

posted May 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm


What a wonderful gift! I’m a Baha’i who only recently learned of your site. I’ve just shared this site with another gentleman who is on a similar quest. You have learned a great truth. The message speaks for itself.



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Anonymous

posted May 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm


You are too kind. Many thanks.



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Anonymous

posted May 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm


You are too kind. Many thanks.



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Moragadonald

posted May 1, 2011 at 11:12 pm


You have such a beautiful soul :) which makes it lovely to read your travels and watch your video :)



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Moragadonald

posted May 1, 2011 at 11:12 pm


You have such a beautiful soul :) which makes it lovely to read your travels and watch your video :)



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Pingback: All I have to do is teach, the message does the rest « Inspiration for Bahá’í Teaching

Pingback: All I have to do is teach, the message does the rest « Inspiration for Bahá’í Teaching

Anonymous

posted March 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm


Thanks for following along!



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Anonymous

posted March 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm


Thanks for following along!



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Jewellybug

posted March 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm


wow, what a wonderful undertaking. hope to follow from now on — much love to you, julie



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Jewellybug

posted March 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm


wow, what a wonderful undertaking. hope to follow from now on — much love to you, julie



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Jewellybug

posted March 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm


hi ((( stewart ))) i finally just saw this — and it’s just totally awesome! Ya-Baha-u’l-Abha! i must subscribe to this feed if i can figure out how to do it. yours, julie



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Jewellybug

posted March 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm


hi ((( stewart ))) i finally just saw this — and it’s just totally awesome! Ya-Baha-u’l-Abha! i must subscribe to this feed if i can figure out how to do it. yours, julie



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Pingback: Back Online! Assessing the Damage « Project Conversion

Pingback: Back Online! Assessing the Damage « Project Conversion

Anonymous

posted March 6, 2011 at 11:22 am


I look forward to hearing from you Stewart!



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Anonymous

posted March 6, 2011 at 11:22 am


I look forward to hearing from you Stewart!



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TheTrueCelt

posted March 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm


Andrew,

Ya Baha’u’l-Abha! Congratulations on the completion of your Baha’i month, and being confirmed as a teacher of the Faith by the fact that someone was brought to the Faith through you. A great blessing for you, your mentor, and the potentially new Baha’i.

Along these lines, I want to share one other thing with you. In the first area meeting I attended as a new Baha’i in 2009, one of the Persian women in attendance spoke of the Baha’is imprisoned in Iran for the Faith. She said that “If they were with us and we asked them what we could do for them, they would tell us ‘Teach the Faith!’” I will never forget that. Still gives me goose bumps thinking of it. That is the best way to honor the Baha’is in Iran. I know they are near and dear to you. And so your act of sharing the Faith, of teaching it and having someone come to the Faith through you, is one of the greatest things you could do for those dear souls devoted to Baha’u’llah. Imagine them standing before you saying, “Thank you!”. Imagine Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha saying, “Well done!”.

Finally, as you say in your concluding video, it’s not goodbye, it’s see ya later. Indeed. I have a feeling you’ll be back one way or another. :-) I’ll be continuing to follow your journey through the other faiths. I may yet get around to submitting my “conversion story” to you for the Conversion Corner. We’ll see. :-)

May God continue to bless you now and always.

Peace,
– Stewart



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TheTrueCelt

posted March 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm


Andrew,

Ya Baha’u’l-Abha! Congratulations on the completion of your Baha’i month, and being confirmed as a teacher of the Faith by the fact that someone was brought to the Faith through you. A great blessing for you, your mentor, and the potentially new Baha’i.

Along these lines, I want to share one other thing with you. In the first area meeting I attended as a new Baha’i in 2009, one of the Persian women in attendance spoke of the Baha’is imprisoned in Iran for the Faith. She said that “If they were with us and we asked them what we could do for them, they would tell us ‘Teach the Faith!’” I will never forget that. Still gives me goose bumps thinking of it. That is the best way to honor the Baha’is in Iran. I know they are near and dear to you. And so your act of sharing the Faith, of teaching it and having someone come to the Faith through you, is one of the greatest things you could do for those dear souls devoted to Baha’u’llah. Imagine them standing before you saying, “Thank you!”. Imagine Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha saying, “Well done!”.

Finally, as you say in your concluding video, it’s not goodbye, it’s see ya later. Indeed. I have a feeling you’ll be back one way or another. :-) I’ll be continuing to follow your journey through the other faiths. I may yet get around to submitting my “conversion story” to you for the Conversion Corner. We’ll see. :-)

May God continue to bless you now and always.

Peace,
– Stewart



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Anonymous

posted March 2, 2011 at 2:05 am


Thanks! The fullest blessing came from the Baha’i friends themselves.



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Anonymous

posted March 2, 2011 at 2:05 am


Thanks! The fullest blessing came from the Baha’i friends themselves.



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Anonymous

posted March 2, 2011 at 2:03 am


No way. Thanks for reading!



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Anonymous

posted March 2, 2011 at 2:03 am


No way. Thanks for reading!



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Anonymous

posted March 2, 2011 at 2:02 am


Me too!



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Anonymous

posted March 2, 2011 at 2:02 am


Me too!



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Lisarm

posted March 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm


Andrew – this is so marvelous. I just so deeply appreciate how open and loving you are, and how much you have striven to embody the teachings of Baha’u’llah. Surely great blessings are (and have been) coming your way. God Bless you – You are a True Seeker, just as Baha’u’llah talked about in the Tablet of the True Seeker. http://www.northill.demon.co.uk/bahai/seeker.htm



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Lisarm

posted March 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm


Andrew – this is so marvelous. I just so deeply appreciate how open and loving you are, and how much you have striven to embody the teachings of Baha’u’llah. Surely great blessings are (and have been) coming your way. God Bless you – You are a True Seeker, just as Baha’u’llah talked about in the Tablet of the True Seeker. http://www.northill.demon.co.uk/bahai/seeker.htm



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Leila

posted March 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm


That really was wonderful to read! I hope your journey into Zoroastrianism is wonderful and full of joy. I’m a Baha’i and am looking forward to reading your posts in the coming weeks/months. Best wishes.



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Leila

posted March 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm


That really was wonderful to read! I hope your journey into Zoroastrianism is wonderful and full of joy. I’m a Baha’i and am looking forward to reading your posts in the coming weeks/months. Best wishes.



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Michael Solender

posted March 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm


wonderful connection andrew..



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Michael Solender

posted March 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm


wonderful connection andrew..



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Baha'i from Canada

posted March 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm


Andrew your journey is so inspiring in its open heartedness. Even if you come to rest somewhere do not let that go.



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Baha'i from Canada

posted March 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm


Andrew your journey is so inspiring in its open heartedness. Even if you come to rest somewhere do not let that go.



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Valeria Wicker

posted March 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm


That is amazing. I’m so glad the Baha’is can now call you our friend!



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Valeria Wicker

posted March 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm


That is amazing. I’m so glad the Baha’is can now call you our friend!



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Anonymous

posted March 1, 2011 at 3:31 am


My pleasure!



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Anonymous

posted March 1, 2011 at 3:31 am


My pleasure!



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Mary Wilson

posted March 1, 2011 at 3:17 am


Oh my gosh! That is a precious gift not just for your beloved mentor but more so for whom you shared the teachings of Baha’u’llah. For the woman and others, the teachings will illumine their paths in search for truth. You have become an instrument – a pure channel through which God’s love flows into others (paraphrasing a prayer). Thanks again for your sincerity and open-hearted and lovingkindnesses. I am humbled and will remember you.



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Mary Wilson

posted March 1, 2011 at 3:17 am


Oh my gosh! That is a precious gift not just for your beloved mentor but more so for whom you shared the teachings of Baha’u’llah. For the woman and others, the teachings will illumine their paths in search for truth. You have become an instrument – a pure channel through which God’s love flows into others (paraphrasing a prayer). Thanks again for your sincerity and open-hearted and lovingkindnesses. I am humbled and will remember you.



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Amy

posted March 1, 2011 at 3:08 am


Oh Andrew!!!
Thank you so much for everything! Brought tears to my eyes reading this. One heart at a time. <3



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Amy

posted March 1, 2011 at 3:08 am


Oh Andrew!!!
Thank you so much for everything! Brought tears to my eyes reading this. One heart at a time. <3



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Superunknown1492

posted March 1, 2011 at 3:04 am


I just found your site yesterday after reading about you on Huffington Post, and can I say that I think this is AMAZING! I wish I could do something like this, I really identify with what you said about being spiritually promiscuous. I am totally susceptible to the winking of different faiths as well, so thank you for letting me vicariously participate in your project!



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Superunknown1492

posted March 1, 2011 at 3:04 am


I just found your site yesterday after reading about you on Huffington Post, and can I say that I think this is AMAZING! I wish I could do something like this, I really identify with what you said about being spiritually promiscuous. I am totally susceptible to the winking of different faiths as well, so thank you for letting me vicariously participate in your project!



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