“I’ve never denied the Church. I’ve always had a testimony. But Pathway lit the fuse for me. It reminded me why I like the Church.”
Kent Vallecillos admits that his church attendance wasn’t consistent at the start of Pathway. But since he started the program in September 2014, Kent hasn’t missed a Sunday. However, Kent isn’t the only one who is benefitting from his Pathway experience. His girlfriend of two years, Rosie, recently joined the Church — and it all began with Pathway assignments.
They attended church together a couple times, and she really liked it. Rosie said she “noticed right away that it was very different from Catholic mass” because the members do the speaking instead of a priest. She thought this to be “more modern and refreshing” than what she knew from her previous religious experiences.
However, the real progress of Rosie’s conversion didn’t start until Kent began Pathway nearly 18 months later. Rosie admitted that she and Kent were “struggling to get along with each other,” and she knew that if they couldn’t fix their problems, they wouldn’t make it.
As a final leap of faith, they began reading scriptures together as part of Kent's Pathway assignments. “It all happened within the first week,” Kent said. “We started reading in Nephi, who is my favorite prophet, and Rosie and I would read together.”
“The positive effects were immediate after the very first night,” Rosie shared. “Our life together changed as quickly as a light being turned on in a pitch-black room. It was healing and strengthening for our relationship.”
Eventually, Kent and Rosie invited missionaries to teach them. The missionaries told Rosie that they knew her spirit was “ready to be baptized and perhaps had been for a long time.”
On October 5, 2014, Rosie arrived at the local Church building and changed into her white baptismal clothes. Kent’s dad was originally planned to baptize Rosie. But as she dressed, the bishop pulled Kent aside.
“My bishop asked if I wanted to baptize Rosie,” Kent explains. “I said ‘yes,’ but didn’t think I could because I was still preparing to receive the Melchizedek priesthood.”
His bishop then informed Kent that the office of priest, which Kent held, could perform the ordinance of baptism. “He said if I wanted to do it, I could. I felt the Spirit’s presence so strongly and felt the courage to say yes.”
Within a few minutes, Kent was also dressed in white. He then stepped into the baptismal font where a surprised Rosie stood waiting.
“I had such a feeling of elation, love, and hope that I thought my heart would burst,” said Rosie. She knew that the Lord was confirming to her that she was on the right path and doing the right thing.
“There was a really strong spirit. I can still feel it today,” Kent says when thinking about how he felt that special day.
Kent and Rosie both agree that since they began attending church, their relationship has been greatly strengthened. The couple has helped and supported each other in a way that has brought them a better understanding of the gospel.
“I know that the Lord places certain people in our paths for a reason, and I am so thankful and grateful that He sent me Kent,” Rosie shared as part of her testimony.
Reading scriptures wasn’t a common occurrence for Kent until he started Pathway. However, the effects of reading the scriptures together changed Kent and Rosie’s life together long-term and is bringing great happiness to them both.
And it all started with a single Pathway assignment.
Find out more about the Pathway Program.