Inspired Ministering


I was baptized when I was 8 years old and I went to church because my Dad used to take my brother, sister and me.  When I turned 16, I became inactive.  I made new friends in College.  They were not bad but they had different standards.  At that point, I felt more wanted among my friends than at Church.  I didn’t miss church.  I was happy. 

After eight years I was miserable and searching for happiness.  I had gone back to my old faith because all my family and friends belonged to the old faith.  A young mother from my ward, Sujatha Karthikeyan, started to visit me at the beginning of 2016. At first, I avoided her.  She would come to my house early in the morning.  She knew I worked and was not available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. so she used to come at 7 a.m.  I avoided her calls.  I think God knew that I was having a tough time.  He knew that I was miserable so he inspired her to come and visit me.  I knew I had lost my happiness but didn’t know where to find it.

At first, I didn’t feel much change.  I avoided her but she continued to call and message me.  “Call me, any time.  I am available,” she would say.  I wondered why she was always calling me and felt annoyed.  And then I started to feel lonely.  I could not share things with my family.  One night I called her and said, “I feel like crying.”  She came to my home around 10 p.m.  I just fell on her lap and started to cry.  I said, “I am not a good girl, I have made bad choices.”  She did not say a word.  She did not ask me to come to church.  She just listened.  She said, “you are a good girl.  You will be fine.” I cried for an hour and she just listened. And then she said, “I don’t know what you are going through, but I know your Heavenly Father loves you. And I know that you are not bad.”  I felt a mother’s love from her. 

That was a turning point.  I started talking to her like I would my mom.  I told her about my wrong choices.  She never asked me to come to church.  She asked if I ever tried to talk to Heavenly Father. 

I said, “ I don’t’ think Heavenly Father will listen to me because I went away from him, I betrayed him. He doesn’t love me. I am a bad child.”

“He will always love you,” she said.  “He wants to talk to you.” So, I prayed.  All this took nine months.  She still never asked me to come to church or why I had stopped. 

Finally, I thought maybe I should go back to church.  I was cleaning my room and found an old group photo of a Young Women’s birthday celebration.  I looked so bright in that photo because I was so happy at that time. “This is what I am missing,” I thought.  “I want this brightness and happiness to come back.”  I knew where I should be to be happy. 

After I started coming to Church, I met my friends from Young Women who were now returned missionaries.  I wished I could have gone on a mission like them but thought I was too old.  I told Sujatha about my desire to serve a mission. 

In October 2016 I attended a YSA conference and there was a workshop just for me called  “Serving 2 Masters.”  That workshop helped me so much.  I felt God’s love.  When I returned from the conference, Sujatha called me and said I could still serve a mission.  I decided to fast and pray to know if I should.  Sujatha fasted and prayed with me.  After our prayer, she said, “I think God wants you to go on a mission.  While praying I could see you in missionary attire.”  That boosted my confidence. 

That same Sunday I told my family that I wanted to go on a mission.  Initially, they did not accept the idea but I finally convinced them.  I was called and left for my mission to New Delhi in 2018.  It was an amazing experience.  I am happy and my family is happy that I served.

I will be eternally grateful to Sujatha for her love and support. 

Nithya Srinivasan currently serves as a counsellor to Sujatha Karthikeyan in the Bengaluru Stake Primary Presidency.