The Worth of a Soul: From Muslim to Mormon (Bookshelf eBook)(edit)
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You will be inspired by the incredible true story of Ayse Hitchins and her life of constant change. When this shy Turkish girl was only six years old, her loving father abruptly dropped her off at an expensive boarding school — out of the reach of her violent, mentally ill mother. Five years later, her family removed her from the school she had grown to think of as home. She was no longer a privileged citizen of Istanbul and had to begin a new life as an impoverished child of total strangers. When she was finally allowed to move back to the city, one more seemingly insurmountable blow was dealt to the young girl. As a young woman, Ayse’s years were shadowed by turmoil, desperate poverty, depression, and alcoholism. She abandoned her Muslim faith for atheism and Marxist philosophy and planned a future with her Nigerian fiancé — but when Ayse met a Mormon man named Ross, her path took an unexpected turn. With poignant pain and rich redemption, this unforgettable memoir describes this woman’s amazing journey from Turkey to Canada, from Muslim to Mormon, from riches to rags to riches, from adopted child to mother of an adopted child. After following Ayse through her wrenching early years, you will take heart as she seeks reconciliation in her homeland, marvel as she becomes a translator of sacred scripture into her native tongue, and rejoice as she finally raises her voice in gladness to God.
About the Authors
Ayse is a citizen of the world and recognizes no boundaries or limitations. She now lives in Canada with her family but will be returning to her native land of Turkey soon. Her life has been one giant roller coaster, from one extreme to the other, and she’s still enjoying the ride. In many ways, she has experienced enough to fill two lifetimes. Ayse loves education and has graduated from college twice with degrees in music and sociology. Ayse’s mother was adopted, so was Ayse, and she has raised an adopted child. Her favorite hobbies are her husband and her son.
Kristen Garner McKendry began writing in her teens, and her work has been published in Canada and the U.S. She received a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Brigham Young University and has always been a voracious reader. Kristen has a strong interest in urban agriculture, sustainable living, and environmental issues. A native of Utah and mother of three, she now resides with her family in Canada.
It was a simple, one-line children’s song. The brief words conveyed
a sweet, profound, but clear gospel message. Surely I could translate it
without any difficulty at all. I sat down without preparation, knowing
I could whip it out in a few minutes.
But six hours later, crumpled papers cluttered the floor like scattered
popcorn balls, the eraser on my pencil was worn to nothing, and I sat
staring at the blank page in front of me with a pounding headache and tears
of frustration running down my cheeks. I couldn’t capture the tone and
message of the song. It was like trying to round up soap bubbles—the words
eluded me, fell apart, evaporated into nothing. I couldn’t find that richness
of meaning and still have the words fit the music. What had seemed like
a simple little message turned out to have hidden depths I couldn’t reach.
“This is ridiculous!” I groaned. “It’s only one line! Surely I know
my own language well enough to write one line!” But I couldn’t do it.
Finally, I took a break and went to the window to look out at the
snow. The white world beyond my driveway was as blank as my mind.
What was wrong with me? With all my translation experience the last
few months, I shouldn’t be encountering this problem. I knew I could
do this one, simple task. I had confidence in myself—
That was what was wrong, of course. I had confidence in myself, but
that wasn’t where my confidence belonged. I couldn’t rely on myself alone
to carry me through. This wasn’t my work. It wasn’t my translation. I
couldn’t do it on my own. I knew I needed to repent.
Several prayers later (for both forgiveness and guidance) I was able
to sit down at the desk and write out the words, the precise combination
to fit the music and the exact meaning of the hymn. It flowed from my
pencil onto the page in a warm rush, and I sat back and looked at the
perfect results for a long time.
It was a very humbling and eye-opening experience for someone
who was naturally very independent. I gained a new understanding
that day that this Church project wasn’t just about changing English
into Turkish. It was about changing me.
by melodie - reviewed on March 03, 2012
This was a well written, interesting book about the life of an admirable woman. It is fascinating to see how the Lord guides people throughout their lives to fulfill His purposes. It is interesting from a cultural perspective as well.
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