Latter-day Saint Voices

Church Cleaning and Gospel Teaching

By Armando Córcega

La Guaira, Venezuela

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cleaning the church building

Illustration by Allen Garns

On a Saturday afternoon, I was getting ready to go to the beach with my family. They had traveled from Amazonas to La Guaira to spend a few days with me. The sun was bright, the ocean breezes were perfect, and I was happy to see my sisters’ excitement.

Once we were on the road, I remembered that I was in charge of cleaning the church building that day. I now had a choice to make: Should I fulfill my responsibility or continue to the beach with my family? I decided to talk to my mom and sisters about it. They had never been inside an LDS church and enthusiastically offered to help me clean, as long as we headed right to the beach when we finished.

When we entered the church, I explained what needed to be done and how to do it. What we thought would be a quick cleaning job ended up taking four hours because they were so interested! I showed my family each room, the paintings, and the baptismal font. An immense joy filled my heart. I couldn’t believe my family was helping me with something that meant so much to me. While we were there, my teenage sisters, Thalia and Gineska, learned some hymns and asked me questions about the Church.

On Sunday my family attended church for the first time. They were well received in the ward. The young women quickly welcomed my sisters. The sister missionaries met them and set an appointment to meet with them the next day. We held family home evening, and I taught them how to pray. We prayed together often. We also listened to hymns and watched Church videos.

Before my family returned home, I took my sisters to Caracas to see the temple and its grounds. I bore my testimony of temple blessings and encouraged them to find the Church when they returned to Amazonas.

When they left for home, I contacted the missionaries in their area. The missionaries and members of the ward council visited my family and helped them on their way to conversion. My sisters prayed often for our father to give them permission to be baptized.

With great gratitude and joy, I traveled to Amazonas to baptize Thalia and Gineska. The glow in their eyes reflected their hope and their gratitude to Heavenly Father for leading them to the gospel. Through fulfilling an assignment to clean the church, my family came closer together and was strengthened. I will never forget this experience and I know my sisters will not either.