“Find the Missionaries for Me,” Ensign, Mar. 2004, 56–57
In 1998 my father was suffering from a serious illness. A year earlier his leg had been amputated just above the knee. This resulted in various circulatory problems and a great deal of pain and infection. Finally the doctors determined that a portion of his femur—the thighbone—would also have to be amputated. We spent many days in deep concern and sadness.
Since my hometown is small and did not have the resources to treat such a serious health problem, my father went to a hospital in Marília, Brazil, where my sister lives, to be tested and receive aggressive treatment. Nothing seemed to help, however, and many days passed. I went to Marília to be with my parents, and we all sought to strengthen and comfort each other.
My parents were members of the Church, but I wasn’t. At times I had even acted against the Church and had denied the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. But every time I went to visit my father in the hospital, he spoke to me about only one thing: “Luisinho, find the missionaries for me! I need a blessing.” I had searched for the missionaries, but I couldn’t find them. Now time was getting short.
The day before he was to have surgery, I went to visit him again. That day we were particularly apprehensive. We knew the treatment had not been effective, and the next morning my father would have an X-ray to determine how high the doctor would have to amputate.
That day my father asked something different. He was sitting on his bed, putting on his prosthesis so he could go for a walk with my mom through the corridors of the hospital, checking on his friends who had had surgery that morning. As he stood up, he said, “Luisinho, go buy me some water please.”
I immediately went down the stairs and outside to search for a bottle of water. While I walked I saw a group of missionaries down the street. I forgot about the water. I started running after them, and the only word I could get out was “Elder!” They stopped, and I managed to explain my father’s situation.
When my mother and I left the hospital later that day, we saw Elder Alves and his companion enter to visit my father. And that night we received a telephone call from my father. He told us that the mission president had also been there, and my dad had finally received the blessing he wanted so much.
We spent the night wondering what would be the result of the X-ray the following morning. Nonetheless, something comforted us.
The next morning we awoke to the sound of the telephone. It was my father. “Come and get me,” he said. “I am free to go.” Joy overcame us as he explained that the nurse and doctor who examined him couldn’t understand what had happened. “What did you do during the night that caused your X-ray to come out so clean and your bone so perfect?” they asked.
When I remember that day, I feel more and more that the priesthood is real and that it is on the earth once again. Within three months, I had received a testimony and was baptized. Later I served in the Brazil Rio de Janeiro North Mission, sharing my testimony and my love for the things that I know are true.