Dream of Service


When I was 13 or 14 years old, I dreamed I was with a group of people, ready to travel in an airplane to a beautiful and peaceful place where Jesus Christ was. We had to travel by air to get to this place, and I was responsible for these people and for our safe arrival.

I was somewhat surprised by this dream, so the next day I told my mother about it. She thought it was a nice dream, perhaps a little strange, but neither she nor I knew what to make of it. Although we never mentioned the dream again, the impressions it left upon my heart remained with me for many years.

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. My parents taught me to believe in God, and for that I am very grateful. But like every human being, I made mistakes, and these mistakes slowly weakened my relationships with my family. Due to tension in my home and with the motivation of seeking a better life, I decided to take a vacation in Fusagasuga, a town close to Bogotá. While I was there, my problems continued.

One day I went out for a walk, wondering if I should seek help. Finally I asked God to help me; I felt that was the right thing to do.

After a few days I met a young woman who told me about the church she was attending. What she said made me curious and hopeful. I asked if I could attend one of her church’s meetings.

On arriving I was welcomed by kind people. They introduced me to the missionaries, who gave me the first discussion and a Book of Mormon.

At the end of my vacation I went back to Bogotá, where I was in an accident and injured my leg. Because I could not walk well, I started to read the book the missionaries had given me. It was then that I found answers to many questions I had about the purpose of life and the correct way to worship God. The teachings of Nephi and Mosiah and others gave me the desire to talk with the missionaries about this Church.

Because of my accident it was difficult to move about, but the desire to learn more was so great I went to Fusagasuga in search of the missionaries. When I found them, they gave me the address of some missionaries close to my home, and I returned.

The day the cast was taken off my leg, even though I still could not walk well, I looked for the nearest Latter-day Saint Church building. I found the missionaries there—as if they were waiting for me. Elders Castro, Mamani, and Duran answered my many questions and invited me to join the kingdom of God.

Every time we talked, I felt that this was the right road and that God had answered my pleas for help. Like many, I sought the truth on my knees; the nicest part of the gospel message was that I could know the truth for myself. Two months later, on 4 June 1994, I was baptized.

A year after my conversion, I was called to go on a full-time mission. I was happy to be able to share with others what I had learned about Jesus Christ and His great love for us, about modern prophets, and about the Book of Mormon. One week before leaving, I had the privilege of baptizing my mother; she, too, had found the true Church of Jesus Christ.

On 14 July 1995 I entered the Missionary Training Center in Bogotá, Colombia. At the end of the training, the MTC president called me as the leader of a group of missionaries going to the Lima Peru Temple. As I traveled with the group of 21 missionaries from Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, I looked out the window of the airplane. Suddenly the memory of that dream I had never understood came to my mind. I was traveling on an airplane, I was the leader of these people, we were going to the temple—the house of the Lord, the holiest place on the earth—and I was responsible for our safe arrival.

From the time I was young, it seems, my Heavenly Father had prepared the way for me to join the Church. He had prepared me to be able to bear testimony of His truths, which I did full time as an ambassador of His message in the Colombia Barranquilla Mission.

[photo] Photography by Welden C. Andersen and Dennis Junor/Superstock; posed by models; electronic illustration by Patric Gerber