I grew up in Mexico City and became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was 14 years old. During a difficult time for my family, one of my aunts introduced us to the restored gospel. I remember when my mother and I got baptized. We both started laughing and crying afterward and felt this rush of emotion we didn’t comprehend.
Encountering life’s challenges with patience and faith
As I started living the gospel, I faced some difficult situations that taught me two things: I learned the importance of gaining an education and that I was going to need a lot of patience along the way.
My family struggled financially, and I made the hard decision to withdraw from college and work to support them. Deep inside, I felt like it wasn’t the right time for me to be in school and that I needed to wait. But the gospel of Jesus Christ brought me peace that everything was going to be okay.
After a year and many prayers, I decided to serve a full-time mission and was called to the Ciudad Obregón Mexico Mission. This life-changing experience allowed me to get a job later as an instructor at the Mexico City Missionary Training Center, where I first heard about BYU-Pathway Worldwide.
The blessings of joining BYU-Pathway
At the time, I didn’t see how joining BYU-Pathway was going to be any different than my previous efforts to get a degree. My family’s financial struggles continued, but my mother encouraged me to move forward and apply.
Balancing gatherings, family responsibilities, work, and studies was challenging, but I loved my gatherings! I made many strong friendships in those meetings and miss the people so much. The spirit I felt in those gatherings and in my courses also helped me come closer to the Savior and experience His love.
Facing difficult choices with confidence and faith — again
Eventually I completed my foundational courses (called “PathwayConnect”) and continued my online degree from BYU-Idaho, supported by BYU-Pathway. I heard about the Hall Foundation, which helps international returned missionaries get a college education in the United States. The idea sounded appealing, but I didn’t want to leave my life in Mexico. I had an amazing job at the MTC, I was next in line for a big promotion, and I also loved going to school while being close to family. I was comfortable and thought I was doing everything God expected of me, and I didn’t want to mess things up.
But the longer I waited, the stronger the prompting to leave became. I was scared to leave my family and worried about the challenges that would come, but God had never failed me before. Deep down, I knew the hardships I would face would help me progress and be for the best. That’s when I understood God doesn’t want us to be comfortable; He wants us to continue progressing.
Uncertainty and excitement: A new adventure at BYU-Idaho
I followed the prompting to apply for the scholarship, and five months later I was at BYU-Idaho’s campus starting my degree in international studies with a minor in Russian. I was amazed at what was happening in my life. I was 26 years old with nothing but uncertainty ahead of me. It was scary at times but mostly exciting!
At BYU-Idaho I had a spiritual confirmation that I was in the right place at the right time. Not much later, while working at the school library, I met and fell in love Jacob, who I married in December 2018.
Lessons learned along the way
In my mind I was going to BYU-Idaho to study and then return to Mexico, but when I met Jacob, I realized this is it! This is the blessing that it’s true—all the delays, sacrifices, and uncertainty in the past were meant to happen. In my experience, nothing comes from “luck”—my success has come from blessings.
When God saw my hard work, my faithful efforts to follow His plan, and my willingness to sacrifice and do His will, He unraveled the most amazing blessings for me. I also learned the importance of not giving up, not only in life but also on God. No matter where we come from or how privileged we may be or not, it’s our decision to show enough faith to walk in the darkness of the unknown and follow the sacred promptings of the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for discovering the gospel and my decision to be baptized. I know that wherever life takes me, the Lord will guide and support me.