Bread upon the Waters

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“Bread upon the Waters,” Ensign, Feb. 1996, 68

Bread upon the Waters

In September 1977, nineteen-year-old Gamaliel Alcides Vásquez noticed a piece of paper floating down a stream as he walked to his apartment in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, where he was studying to become a schoolteacher. When he picked up the paper, he saw that it was a pamphlet titled The Church As Organized by Jesus Christ.

Somehow he knew that the church identified in the pamphlet was true. He got up early one Sunday and began asking passersby if they knew where a Latter-day Saint church was located. When he finally found the meetinghouse after three hours of searching, he ran toward it. During his third Sunday in attendance—just when he was wondering if he should ever come back, because he seemed to be unnoticed—a missionary found him.

Despite challenges from family members and fellow students, Gamaliel joined the Church. Later, he returned to his hometown of Rio Blanco, where he was the only Church member. He started telling friends and family members about the gospel, and soon he had eight people who wanted to join the Church. Before long he was called to serve a full-time mission.

Although his father has died, Gamaliel’s mother and all but two of his fourteen living siblings are Church members. He served as a branch president in Rio Blanco, married his wife in the Guatemala City Temple in 1986, and in 1990 was called as bishop when the branch became a ward. “While the rest of the world is struggling for power and riches, I have found peace, security, and happiness,” Gamaliel says. All this from a pamphlet floating on the water!