Maria’s Conversion


María stood in the slow-moving line at the carnícería (meat shop). She already had the fresh-baked loaves of bread from the panadería (bakery) in her shopping bag. She smiled as she heard a woman nearby talking about her.

“There aren’t very many young girls who can select meat for their family,” the woman was telling her companion. “But have you noticed how carefully María watches the butcher to make sure he cuts the meat just so!”

I enjoy shopping for Mamá, María thought to herself as she left the marketplace and hurried home with the meat and bread.

When María arrived home, Mamá was in the kitchen preparing and cooking soup for dinner that evening.

“Whew! It’s just ten o’clock and already it’s a hot day!” Papá exclaimed as he came in for a cool drink of water. Soon Papá, Mamá, and María were talking about María’s school, the hot weather, and other things. María loved Saturdays. It was good to be together as a family!

A loud clapping at their front gate announced company. María went to the window and called, “What do you want?”

Two blond young men neatly dressed in suits, white shirts, and ties stood at the gate. They said they wished to speak with her father.

“Papá,” María called. Papá and Mamá joined her at the window. Mamá explained that these young men had called yesterday and she had asked them to come back when Papá would be home.

“Come in, come in!” Papá called, opening the door to welcome the young men.

They asked Papá for permission to offer a prayer. He agreed, and tears came to María’s eyes as she listened, for their words were the same ones she used when she talked to Heavenly Father in her heart! She didn’t know people dared to pray like that out loud.

The visitors called themselves elders, and they told about a young man who had talked with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and afterward had organized a church. María’s heart pounded furiously as the elders said that they knew these things were true and that there was a living prophet on the earth today who was president of the church that the young man, Joseph Smith, had organized.

The family looked forward to each visit of the elders. María enjoyed going to Primary, and she was especially happy when her entire family attended Sunday School and other church meetings together. Now they had family prayer each morning and night, and María said her own prayers out loud. The elders taught them about temples, where they could be sealed together as a family forever!

On the day of their baptism María watched her father and then her mother go under the water in their beautiful white clothes. Then it was María’s turn. An elder took her by the hand, raised his other hand, and said a short prayer.

As María walked out of the water, she felt a warm glow of happiness. Now she was truly a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She could hardly wait to share the gospel with all of her friends.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Nina Grover