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Rick Neilson  

Rick Neilson


I am 59 years old and I have been with the Mission for 5 of those years. To fully go into what occurred the rest of the time would take a book. Basically, I spent the better part of the time, before God brought me here doing most things my way. I had a good up bringing, but had to deal with my parents divorce and my mothers' drinking. But solid enough so that even though the years when booze became my higher power, I rarely got into legal trouble.

Growing up I went to Sunday School, and church all on a regular basis, but looking back it was primarily because it was expected - it was what i was told you should do. Being stubborn and overly independent, I never really thought too much about a lot of what the Bible, and church, etc. meant to or for my life, or the world in general. I never had a problem believing in God or that God was responsible for everything around us, but that is about as far as it went.

So, I went along for many years, sort of in and out of touch with church, prayer, and all of the other things that really should have mattered, and was otherwise, inconsistent about most things. I worked more often than not, but there came a time when it was either work or drink, so I spent quite a bit of time going from throwing myself into a job for a while and then doing nothing but keeping constant company with the booze, for as long as I could.

I was never good at functioning when the alcohol was on my mind. I guess I was never giving myself a chance to develop the talents God gave me and the things I missed during those years would have probably fill a full-length movie - the jobs, relationships, friendships, and situations that all evaporated, because, I guess, I was always on my mind. The things, sights, and sounds around me that I missed - Amazing! By all rights I should have checked out of this world, one way or another. Fortunately God had other plans.

After all of the years and continual justification for living "My Way," God crept in to say, "I've got an option if you care to listen." I believe now that He put people in my life, all along to drop hints, I was too focused on my brilliant strategy of life, some of which I remember, warmly. God is ever - patient and sometimes it takes what it takes for each individual, but if when you have had enough of your plan, God has a better one. Even after 5 years and finally allowing some truly good fellow brothers to see more of me than I have ever been willing to let lose of - I am still just touching the surface of what God has in store for me, and it makes today brighter to feel that.

Salt Lake City Mission

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P.O. Box 142, Salt Lake City, UT. 84110

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1151 S. Redwood Road
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