Ron Hernandez: New Nation, Same Spirit

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“Ron Hernandez: New Nation, Same Spirit,” Ensign, Aug. 1990, 70

Ron Hernandez: New Nation, Same Spirit

Though he is now a bishop in Canada, Ron Hernandez remembers being five years old in Guatemala City, Guatemala, when the missionaries came to his home to teach his father the gospel. Although his father was not baptized at that time, the missionaries left a Book of Mormon with the family and impressed young Ron with their testimonies.

Sixteen years later, missionaries knocked on their door again. Ron says, “When they started to introduce themselves, I said, ‘Wait one minute,’ and I went to a trunk and got our copy of the Book of Mormon. I showed it to them, and they said, ‘Where did you get that book?’ I told them the missionaries had given it to us sixteen years before and that I had been waiting for them to come back. They looked at each other and told me that we were going to be a ‘golden family.’”

Ron started tracting with the missionaries immediately and helped them make contacts. After his baptism, he left his job in the printing trade for a year to serve full time as a stake missionary. Not long after his release, he met Maria Eugenia Ramirez at church, and they were soon married. She had been a member of the Church since childhood.

In 1972, Ron came to Canada on vacation to visit his brother—and decided to stay. It was more than a year later before Maria and their daughter could come, but they are all Canadian citizens now, including the two daughters who have been added to their family since their move to Toronto, Ontario.

Ron now serves as bishop of the Spanish-speaking Lehi Ward in the Toronto Ontario Stake. Maria is a Relief Society teacher. Together, Bishop Hernandez and Maria speak their old language in a new land as they share the message of the gospel—itself old but ever new.

Photography by Welden Andersen