I No Longer Need an Oxygen Tank

By Leonardo S. Mina

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    She was busy doing her wifely chores at the second floor of their modest home when she heard knocks at the door. Quickly she opened the window to see who was knocking. Quickly she closed. What she saw scared her. Two Americans! What do they want, she thought. “Ask what the Markanos want,” she told her 12-year-old daughter. She heard them ask for her husband. Her husband was at that time at the town public market tending their small grocery store—their only source of livelihood. When she heard the Americans leaving, she half-opened the window and watched them walk away.

    Maura T. Miranda is a frail-looking housewife, 43 years old, and married to a loving husband, Cesar Miranda. They have three daughters. They live a stones-throw away from the meeting house of the Biñan Branch. If you visit the Miranda family, one object you will not fail to notice is an oxygen tank. This medical equipment has saved the life of Maura several times. She has been afflicted with asthma for eight years. She had always been in poor health. She tires very easily and when asthma make its insidious attack she would have difficulty in breathing. She would gasp for air. When this happens, her husband would dutifully place a breathing tube to her nose and open the oxygen tank for the much needed life-sustaining oxygen. It has become a most valuable medical aid to her. Often, the attack would last from 3 days to one week. When this happens, her husband is forced to close their little grocery store so he could attend to her and their children. This naturally means a sizeable loss in income for a growing family. On Sundays when she passes by the Branch meeting house she would observe with growing interest a group of happy people. They are friendly, she thought. They always shake hands with each other as if they had only met for the first time. Why do they call each other “brothers and sisters,” she wondered. And yes—they sing beautiful hymns. She was touched. She was moved. They are different, she said to herself. And deep within her heart, the desire to know was born.

    One day, her 12-year-old daughter Sterling arrived home with an “American” following her. “I am Elder Urari,” he introduced himself. Pointing at the meeting house, he said, “I live there with my companion. We would like to visit your family tomorrow. Puede ba?” He smiled. Maura Miranda smiled too and answered yes.

    The next day Elder Urari arrived with a companion who introduced himself as Elder Canlas. The elders explained the purpose of their visit. They talked about a prophet named Joseph Smith, about the golden plates, about the appearance of two heavenly beings to Joseph, about the falling away and the restoration of the true Church in these latter-days. Her family did not understand. That was the first time they heard those things. But their interest was aroused. Before they left, the Elders gave them a Book of Mormon with the request to “read it and pray about it.”

    The Elders continued to teach them. The Miranda family continued to read and pray and listened. All their doubts disappeared. They knew in their hearts they have found that which they have been seeking for—the true Church. They decided to be baptized but then something unexpected came up. A few days before their scheduled baptism, Maura Miranda became ill with flu accompanied by attack of her old tormentor—Asthma. Because of her illness she does not use cold water in taking a bathe for the past eight years. But great was her faith and strong was her desire to be baptized. She prayed and left everything to the Lord. When Elder R. Jensen who took over from Elder Urari, was saying the baptismal prayers, Maura Miranda felt something. It was a warm feeling going all through her body. She knew the Lord answered her prayer. All would be well.

    Maura Miranda and her family are now members of the Church. They were baptized February 12, 1977. They are happy. The once frail-looking and sickly housewife is now healthy and full of life. She presently serve as Visiting Teacher in the Relief Society of the Biñan Branch. Her husband serves as the Second Counselor in the Branch Presidency.

    Today, if you visit the Miranda home, you will still see the oxygen tank in one corner. It is no longer in use. “Since I joined the Church my asthma never bothered me anymore,” she declared. “When I get sick I turn to my husband. He has the Priesthood. I get a blessing. That’s all I need. I no longer need an oxygen tank.”