“Guided to Monica,” Ensign, October 2019
When I lived in São Paulo, Brazil, I got to know a special woman named Graça. She was a lovely and kind woman and a friend to all.
Graça was my visiting teaching companion. She was a mother of three, worked part-time, and didn’t have a car or telephone, but none of this stopped her from serving.
From my balcony, I could see a single window of her house. When she was available, Graça would put a red piece of fabric in that window to signal that she was ready to go visiting. She never found an excuse not to serve. I have often thought about Graça’s signal and her wonderful example of faithful and simple service.
One experience stands out in my mind. We prepared and prayed before going to visit one of our sisters. As we approached her house, we realized we had actually driven to a different sister’s house! We were assigned to visit this sister, a less-active mother of two young children, but had not planned to visit her that day. Because we were there, we knocked, but nobody answered.
We decided to be persistent and wait. The sister, Monica, eventually came and told us she was busy. We noticed she was tired and almost in tears. When we said we were there to help, she allowed us to enter. Her baby was crying, so we told her to take care of her baby and we would wait. When Monica went upstairs with the baby, we got to work, cleaning several rooms and folding all the clothes we could see.
When Monica saw how nice her house looked, she started crying, opened her heart to us, and shared some of her challenges. We promised to help her, and we talked to the Relief Society president about her challenges. The following Sunday, Monica was in church.
Monica became an active, happy sister, and we continued to minister to her with love and care. She still had the same challenges, but she was able to deal with them with more faith and courage because of her activity in the Church.
I’m so grateful for Graça’s example as we served together. We had prayed for guidance, and God had led us to Monica.