Two young men dressed in white shirts and ties came to our home in Honduras. “We are from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” they said.
Mama welcomed them in. The missionaries taught our family about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though I was only nine, I felt the truth of their words in my heart.
“What must we do to become members of Christ’s Church?” Papa asked.
“Be baptized,” one of the elders said.
Mama, Papa, and I were baptized one month later. My brother, Tomas, who was six years old, would be baptized in two years.
While teaching us more about the gospel, the elders explained how families could be sealed together in the temple.
The closest temple was in Guatemala, many kilometers away. We would need to pay for a two-day bus ride and two nights’ lodging in the city. We had no money for such a trip, but Mama and Papa refused to let that stop us from attending the temple.
Every year our family grew corn. We used it to make tortillas to sell to travelers who passed through our village.
Mama pulled out a paper and pencil. She added up some numbers and said, “We must sell 2,500 tortillas to pay for our trip.”
My eyes widened. That was so many tortillas! “We have never sold so many tortillas,” I said.
Mama didn’t look worried. “The Lord will provide,” she said. “Raoul, you and Tomas must help your papa harvest the corn,” Mama told me.
Tomas and I helped Papa harvest the corn. Every day, Mama ground it, made the dough, and fried it. Tomas and I took the tortillas to the village.
“A bus of tourists came today,” I told Mama when we returned home the first day. “We sold many tortillas.”
“It is a miracle,” Mama said.
Every day we sold more tortillas. Within a few months we had saved the money we needed to make the journey to Guatemala. But I was still worried. I had heard stories about robbers who stopped buses passing through the jungle. They took all the passengers’ valuables.
“What about the robbers?” I asked.
“The Lord will protect us,” Mama said. Then she asked, “Raoul, do you believe in the gospel?”
“Then you know that we must do all in our power to follow the Lord and His prophets.”
One year after we were baptized, my family was ready to make the trip to the temple. We rode to Guatemala City in a bus. I will never forget the spirit I felt as my family was sealed together for time and eternity.
That night, as I knelt to say my prayers, I thanked Heavenly Father for the blessings of the temple.
“In holy places and in sacred space we find spiritual refuge, renewal, hope, and peace. Are these not worth every necessary personal sacrifice?” 2
Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander of the Seventy
“Holy Place, Sacred Space,” Ensign, May 2003, 72.
Illustrations by Jim Madsen