By Tisha Whitmill
Many students at BYU have entertained aspirations to attend the university their whole lives, however, for one student coming to BYU took a Kuwaiti airline ticket, cockroaches and a swimming pool.
Ceri Gay, 20, from Tulsa, Okla., knows she is at BYU for a reason. The story of how she arrived in Provo is full of calamity and trial, but she knows this is where she needs to be.
Gay lived in Bristol, England until her family decided it needed a change. The family felt restless, and her mother had the impression that they should move to the United States.
However, trouble ensued from the very beginning. Twenty minutes before the family was scheduled to board the plane, American Airlines went on strike. The family had to wait in the airport almost all day before securing a flight through a Kuwaiti airline. The flight brought the family to New York, but managed to send their luggage to Cairo, Egypt.
The first hotel the family stayed at did not offer peace or rest. In fact, it offered urine stained beds and cockroaches.
Needless to say, Gay”s first impression of the United States left her frightened.
“All we knew about America before that time was from the TV show Cops,” Gay said.
Eventually the family found its way to Oklahoma, but it took three homes before they finally settled down. Their first apartment was not fit for young children to live in and their second home fell down.
Finally they moved into a new house and were greeted by two teenage boys carrying freshly baked bread.
“It was the first act of kindness we saw in America,” Gay said.
The boys lived down the street and were Latter-day Saints. Their family became friends with Gay”s family. This opened the door for her family to take the missionary discussions.
They also invited her family to an open-house at the church. Gay said the building was packed and she was amazed at how many people were investigating the church. Later she discovered that the members of her family were the only investigators.
At the open house she received a picture of Christ. The picture felt right to Gay and it helped her know that she wanted to be baptized.
Gay”s baptism took place on the fourth of July in a swimming pool.
“The reason my family was brought here was to join the church,” she said.
After awhile, Gay and her family became inactive, but she attended a church activity a few years later and learned for a second time that the church is true.
Soon after, she came to Provo to visit a friend. Gay never actually ended up seeing her friend, but she left Provo with a housing contract. She moved to Provo three weeks later and has enjoyed Provo ever since.
She said she knows she is supposed to be here, even though she doesn”t know why. She knows that her mother received promptings to move the family to the United States in order to prepare them to receive the gospel.