Help Zeca Know the Truth
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“Help Zeca Know the Truth,” Ensign, July 1996, 62

“Help Zeca Know the Truth”

As a missionary in Portugal I had many opportunities to see people accept the gospel, but none of those conversions touched me more than Zeca’s. He was a young professional soccer player who also worked as a wine taster. Eager to learn, he listened to our heartfelt discussions with a special light in his eyes.

Only when hearing about the Word of Wisdom did he show concern. Even though at his work he merely tasted wine without swallowing any of it, he nevertheless felt his profession was not in accordance with the Church’s teachings. However, the idea of giving up his job frightened him.

Zeca was only 24, and he lived alone in a bare apartment with only a mattress on the floor for him to sleep on. The rent took most of his earnings.

My companion and I taught him and bore our testimonies to him as fervently as possible. But we knew that ultimately the decision to join the Church must be his. It seemed, however, that all of our testifying and praying, along with all of Zeca’s study and prayers, didn’t result in his gaining a testimony. This frustrated him greatly because he believed we were telling him the truth, yet he wanted to feel the truth for himself.

Shortly after we had taught Zeca about tithing and fasting, we visited him. I will never forget how he met us at the door that day, his dark eyes shining, his smile wide and eager.

“I’ve been waiting for you, sisters,” he exclaimed. “I’ve been fasting to know if the Church is true, and I wanted to break my fast with you.”

Amazed that he’d fasted on his own initiative, we entered his barren apartment, our hearts warmed by the light in his eyes. Together we knelt in a circle and took turns praying aloud, asking Father in Heaven to help Zeca know the truth. The Spirit in the room was powerful, almost tangible, and each of us soon had tears in our eyes.

The last one to pray was Zeca. He spoke simply, his voice rough with emotion but full of gratitude. “Oh, Father, I thank thee for sending these sisters to me. And I thank thee for this wonderful feeling in my heart that tells me the Church is true!”

Through fasting and prayer, Zeca had gained a testimony! He was baptized two weeks later. Soon he found a new job, and in time he was actively involved in his branch, helping it to grow. He remembers vividly, as I do, the day fasting helped him gain a testimony.