In 1987, Marcella, the older of my two daughters, saw two young men with name tags on a bus in Tiradentes, Brazil. A conversation ensued, and the missionaries asked if she would like to know more about the Church.
Marcella was interested, but she knew that my opinion of Latter-day Saints was very unfavorable. She made arrangements to be taught at the home of a member, and in time she was baptized. She was 19 years old. I did not go to her baptism because I was still radically opposed to the Church.
Meanwhile, I was going through a very difficult period in my life. One day I decided to look through some magazines in our magazine rack. Among them were several issues of A Liahona (Portuguese). I found what I read interesting.
The February/March 1986 issue contained an article about Si Peterson, a young man from Canada who is a quadriplegic (see Jeannie Takahashi, “Typical, but Unique Latter-day Saint,” 22). I was particularly impressed by the faith and perseverance of Si’s mother.
About that same time, January 1988, my younger daughter, Monica, suffered an appendicitis attack and was in terrible pain. The doctor said she needed emergency surgery. Marcella and I took her to the hospital and comforted her the best we could. At the hospital I remembered the examples of faith I had read about in A Liahona. I thought especially of Si’s mother, Anita Begieneman.
Marcella and I held Monica in our arms. We prayed with all the faith we had. Soon we noticed the color returning to her cheeks, and she stopped crying. Amazingly, the doctor told us a mistake had been made. Monica didn’t need an operation. The three of us went home happy and grateful.
Monica and I decided to receive the discussions, and we were baptized on 19 March 1988. Marcella later served a full-time mission to Switzerland and is now married.
The examples of faith in A Liahona showed me that my former ideas about the Church were in error and gave me strength during a difficult time. In the years since these events occurred, reading the magazine has continued to strengthen my testimony.