Blanca Solis—Asuncion, Paraguay
    Footnotes

    “Blanca Solis—Asuncion, Paraguay,” Liahona, December 2018

    Portraits of Faith

    Blanca Solis

    Asunción, Paraguay

    When Blanca’s husband and mother became sick and unable to care for themselves, she had to leave her job to care for them full-time. By turning to the Lord, Blanca has found strength beyond her own.

    Cody Bell, photographer

    Blanca caring for her mother

    Our family’s most difficult trials came when my husband became very sick. He spent four months in intensive care. Those were months of anguish! My husband was unable to care for himself when we left the hospital. At the same time, my mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and had to completely stay in the bed.

    I had a stable job as a licensed nurse, and I took care of my husband and my mother at the same time. I became discouraged with both of them in bed. There were many nights without sleep because I would have to do everything for them. They were like two babies. With caring for them and working at the same time, I felt like I was working double. I could not take care of them as I should, so I had to leave my work.

    I consider these to be the most difficult days of my life. It was difficult for me to go from being self-sufficient to empty-handed. I began to worry about finances. I didn’t know what to do to cover all our expenses. I started thinking of what I could do. I asked the Lord to help me work once again and still care for my family.

    I talked with my son and he suggested that I make and sell empanadas. I was scared since I did not know how to do this, but I had something in my favor. I had attended several self-reliance courses from the Church. One of the courses I liked was the “Starting and Growing My Business” course. As I attended, I sensed what was ahead of me. The Lord sent this course to me after I asked Him for help. I asked Him for a job, and He provided me with an opportunity.

    I worked until late at night to get the business started. It took a year to get it fully running. I started selling empanadas to friends and neighbors, and I began to think that I could give myself entirely to this job, so I could take care for family. We were happy when the time came to open a nice family business. Our happiness, however, was short-lived.

    I started to feel sick myself. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with breast cancer. I underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and everything else to fight the disease. When everything came down, I had to abandon my long-awaited family business. Between my treatment and care of my helpless mother and my husband, I did not have the physical capacity to run the business.

    Over time, my husband’s health slowly improved, and my mother has since passed away. Now, I dedicate myself to my treatment.

    I do not get tired of praying and asking the Lord for strength to continue forward. I pray to Him at all times. What my family has gone through has helped me realize that the Lord has walked with me through it all. He gives me the opportunity to rise up again. It is incredible the great amount of strength the Lord gives me.

    I never ask myself, “Why me?” I have always thought there was a reason for it. I trust the Lord and accept what He sends me. He has supported me as I have passed through very difficult times, and I have been strengthened.

    Blanca reading the Liahona magazine

    Blanca attended several of the Church’s self-reliance courses to help provide a living for her and her family. She is grateful for what she learned. “The Lord sent this course to me after I asked Him for help,” she said.

    Blanca and husband reading scriptures

    Twenty-three years after she and her husband, Anibal, joined the Church, Blanca says, “Since my baptism, I have felt that I am in the right place, in the true Church.”

    Blanca and husband

    Blanca is grateful to see her husband’s health improve. She is also grateful for the opportunity she had to care for her mother, who has since passed away.

    Blanca sweeping kitchen

    Blanca says she could not have made it through her challenges on her own. “The Lord has walked with me through it all,” she says. “It is incredible the great amount of strength the Lord gives me.”