In 1977 Ana Cumandá Rivera of Quito was called on a mission and assigned to the Otavalo area. The first Otavalan missionaries had just been called. Although sister missionaries typically needed to be in their 20s at the time, most of Sister Cumandá’s companions had been allowed to serve at age 16 or 17, before their families encouraged them to marry.
With them, Sister Cumandá saw the scripture fulfilled that in the last days even the young would dream and prophesy (see Joel 2:28–29). “Sister, I dreamed of Alma,” a companion named Petrona Burga told her one day, “and Alma told me that we have to go to a community called Punyaro because there are a lot of people waiting for us.” In Punyaro they found three families who embraced the gospel. Another time, a companion named Luzmila Carrascal dreamed they should go to a village called Monserrat rather than visit a family they were already teaching. When they went to Monserrat, they found the very same family already headed to the chapel, hoping to be baptized.
Luzmila Carrascal also exercised her faith in another way: she asked Sister Cumandá to teach her to read and write. “Just teach me,” Carrascal said, “and I will pray to Heavenly Father to help me understand.” After seeing Sister Carrascal learn to read and write, Cumandá was eager to do more. After her mission, she prayed that she could be an “instrument of progress” for God’s children. The Church soon asked her to return to Otavalo—this time to work as a literacy coordinator.