Missing the World Cup

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“Missing the World Cup,” Liahona, June 2007, 37

Missing the World Cup

There is one sport that everyone in Brazil loves—football. And there is no bigger football event than the World Cup. So when Fabiana Silva, a member of the Brasil Ward, Vitória da Conquista Brazil Stake, won a contest and got to attend the 1998 World Cup in France, she was thrilled! But she had no idea it would become a missionary opportunity.

The other contest winners couldn’t help noticing Fabiana’s standards as they attended football game after football game, and Brazil headed to the final game against France. They respected her modest dress, her positive attitude, and her clean language. That respect turned to disbelief, though, when she told them she would not be attending the championship because it was going to be held on Sunday.

Despite pressure and even ridicule from the group, Fabiana stood firm. Sunday found her reading scriptures in her hotel room because she didn’t know where to find a local chapel. Brazil lost; the group went home.

A few weeks later Fabiana was surprised to receive a letter from Fábio Fan, another contest winner from across the country. He told her he was impressed by her standards and that he was investigating the Church. Later he sent another letter—he had been baptized. Fábio then helped bring members of his family into the Church and served a mission.

Fabiana also served a mission, to Campinas, Brazil, where she was well prepared because she had already learned that “the most effective tract we will carry will be the goodness of our own lives and example.”1

Illustration by Daniel Lewis