Call Those Missionaries
October 2000

“Call Those Missionaries,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 64–65

“Call Those Missionaries”

In 1972 my husband, Giuseppe, and I—both originally from Italy—decided to move with our young family to Australia. At that time we knew nothing of the difficult but wonderful spiritual journey still ahead.

As our three children began to grow up, I became concerned about their religious education. I had been reared in Italy’s dominant religion, and I was familiar with a number of others. But I didn’t feel any of them were right for our children.

One sunny day in 1980, I took the children to the park. As I sat under a tree watching them play, I began to think once again about what religion to teach them. I looked up into the sky and uttered a brief, sincere prayer. “Father in Heaven,” I said, “I am so confused about all these religions. I want to teach my children the truth. If the true church is on this earth, I ask Thee to help me find it.”

Two days later, I was outside talking to a neighbor when I saw two young missionaries walking down the street. My heart beat hard, and I heard a voice inside me say, Call those missionaries. My neighbor tried to dissuade me, but the voice was insistent: Talk to them. So I did.

I discovered that they belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Something about them impressed me, and although I didn’t speak English well and they didn’t speak Italian, I invited them to my home.

The missionaries told us that the true Church had been restored and that it had a prophet and apostles, just as in Christ’s Church anciently. They told us about the Prophet Joseph Smith, about how he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and organized the Church under divine authority. It all made perfect sense to me, and a wonderful spirit enveloped us. I felt that Heavenly Father was answering my prayer.

The missionaries began visiting us. When they had finished the discussions, they asked if we wanted to be baptized. I was excited about being baptized, but Giuseppe was not as sure. Nevertheless, he and I and the two oldest children became members of the Church.

One week later, some of my husband’s friends had a long talk with him. They got him to drink alcohol, and they said a lot of negative things against the Church. He came home angry and told me he didn’t want to have anything to do with the Church. He said the children could not go to services, and if I went by myself, he would not let me in when I came home.

I felt very confused. I went into the bedroom and curled up on the bed. I thought about everything my husband had said. Then I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help me.

I soon fell asleep and had a beautiful dream. In my dream, I was with a large group of people. Half were on the left, and half were on the right. In the middle stood Jesus Christ and two missionaries. The missionaries were wearing name tags that read, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The three of them began walking toward me. When the Savior reached me, He smiled and took my hands in His. He told me not to worry, that I had made the right decision.

I woke up crying, but I felt great peace and joy. I tried to tell my husband about the dream, but he didn’t want to hear anything about it. Nevertheless, I was more convinced than ever that I had found the true Church.

I also knew the Lord would not forsake me. So when Sunday came, I gathered my courage and went to church with the children. When we got home, we found the house locked and all our belongings outside. I was worried for the children’s sake, but I also felt we were being protected. I checked all the windows and found one that wasn’t locked. My son Luciano crawled in and opened the front door, and we took our belongings back in. From that day on, my husband and I had many arguments about the Church. In spite of this difficulty, my children and I continued to be fully active.

Two decades have now passed since we joined the Church, and we have been blessed in many ways. Two more children were born into our family. The year 1996 was especially wonderful. Luciano went on a mission to Italy, and our eldest grandson was baptized. And if that was not enough, Heavenly Father touched my husband’s heart concerning the Church. In December 1999 our family was sealed in the Sydney Australia Temple.

I have learned that Heavenly Father does hear our prayers. I also know that if we have faith in Christ and are determined to grow spiritually, we will, in time, receive all the righteous desires of our hearts, whether in this life or the next.

  • Ortensia Greco Conte is a member of the Epping Ward, Melbourne Australia Heidelberg Stake.