“With ‘Patience of Hope’” Ensign, Aug. 1999, 69
Writing to the members in Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul said, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 1:2–3).
Today, one of those laboring with love and patience of hope is 76-year-old Vartoui (Roza) Dimopoulou, a member of the Thessaloniki Branch in the Greece Athens Mission. Sister Dimopoulou, or Roza as she is known by the members and missionaries, remembers how she was hesitant to be baptized when first hearing the missionary discussions. She kept telling the missionaries she had already been baptized at birth. Finally, however, she accepted a challenge to pray about the matter.
Roza recalls going to her room, kneeling, and praying as she had been taught by the missionaries. Her answer came quickly and clearly and included a dream that helped guide her to accept baptism on 31 January 1993.
From that day on, Roza has shown her devotion to the Lord’s Church—the only one, she says, where she can feel the Savior near. Her husband died several years after her baptism, and the Sunday of his funeral is the only day she has missed her Church meetings in six years. Members of the Thessaloniki Branch can count on seeing Roza every Sunday dressed all in black—in accordance with Greek custom for widows—sitting in the same seat in the chapel, “her seat” as she calls it.
Roza still works every day except Sunday until 6 P.M. as a cleaning maid for a family. With her modest income and small retirement pay, she supports her daughter and granddaughter and has managed to save enough money to make two trips to the London Temple, once to be sealed to her deceased husband. As her health is poor, it is not uncommon to hear her say on Sundays, “When I woke up this morning I had not enough strength to get out of bed. But I prayed to Heavenly Father for Him to please allow me to go to the meetings of His Church, and He gave me the strength to come.”—Elder James Max Adams, Greece Athens Mission