(In response to Adam's dad's questions related to conversion vs. testimony)
Conversion is a process. In the end, once you have made a sacrifice to the Lord and it is acceptable to Him, you should be entitled/promised to receive a confirmation of that truth until it becomes a pure knowledge (line upon line). I guess that is more or less where I am at - I have learned a lot and know many things to be true, but there is a lot more I need to do in order to get to the point of being ready and worthy of such a gift (a pure knowledge of things, where faith is no longer needed...for that bit of truth).
Even though I have been blessed to have many spiritual experiences, I don't think that they caused a true change of heart due to the fact that I wasn't really looking for one. I guess what really has made me seek for that true conversion and not being satisfied with simply having a testimony of things is realizing that my life hinges on knowing this truth. I was challenged by people a couple of times early on in my mission and I didn't feel that my testimony was adequate enough (where I only hoped and believed that something was true but wasn't absolutely sure of it). I have felt the truth of the Gospel many times throughout my life and while on my mission I have felt it many more times, but they mean a lot more now that I can anchor my testimony on them and realize that I have to anchor it to them for my spiritual survival. I don't think that it has to or should take being forced to question things in order to seek after them intently, but it is definitely a catalyst.
[In speaking about how to influence the youth to make the choice to serve a mission]...I have no idea how you are supposed to do it, but somehow you need to drive the kids to understand that a testimony is as important as you know it to be. That can be difficult, as youth don't tend to listen or to care too much about those things at that stage in their lives. Elder Badnar is coming this Saturday to the mission and speaking to us and he gave all the missionaries some talks to read and one of them which is super good is "learning in Faith" which he gave at a CES fireside in 2006. In it, he asserts that learning is not only an act of faith, but more importantly that learning is an act of agency. If you don't want to be taught, you can't be. It is amazing that God respects our agency even when it comes to learning spiritual truths.