That Magazine Kept Following Me

Luisa Fernanda Espinosa Sachica, a young Colombian woman, had come to the church meeting at the invitation of a young man who worked with her at a bank.

The little ward in Bogota, the nation’s capital, did not really impress her favorably. The Church members were nice, but Luisa just didn’t like the meetings. They were too long, she thought, and there didn’t appear to be anything of interest for people of her age.

But, during Relief Society, the teacher used the June 1987 Liahona, the Church’s Spanish-language magazine. On the cover was a picture of the Savior teaching in the synagogue. In the painting, the Savior had a glow about him that attracted Luisa’s attention. Not wanting to stay, she left the building following Relief Society, but she thought to herself, “I want a copy of that magazine.”

Later that week, Luisa was on a crowded bus in Bogota and, as she was getting off, she noticed a copy of that same issue of the Liahona on the dashboard of the bus. She thought that it was quite a coincidence. The next day, as she was shopping, she saw behind the counter another copy of the magazine. She began to think that it was more than a coincidence. She wanted to ask the store clerk about the magazine but couldn’t find the courage to do so.

Then, at the end of the week, while she was working in the bank, a man carrying a copy of the magazine approached her teller’s window. She just had to ask him about getting a copy for herself. “I can’t understand what it is about that magazine,” she explained. “It seems to follow me around.” The man smiled and gave her his copy.

She took the magazine home and read it all the way through. The First Presidency Message, by President Ezra Taft Benson, was “Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus,” and it described Joseph Smith and the First Vision. The more Luisa read, the more her interest grew.

She told some friends, who were members of the Church, that she wanted to meet the missionaries. Before the first discussion was finished, “She bore her testimony to us that the Joseph Smith story was true,” said Elder Doug Fulsome, one of the missionaries who taught her. Luisa was eager to hear the rest of the discussions and was soon baptized.

“If the Lord wants someone to be baptized,” said Elder Fulsome, “he finds a way. Even if he makes a copy of the Church magazines ‘follow’ them.”

[photo] Photography by Craig Dimond