“Who Turned My Head?” Liahona, Oct. 2007, 46–47
During a sacrament meeting in Piura, Peru, in 1972, a speaker who was discussing the importance of family history work kept looking at me. At the end of his talk, he surprised me when he announced, “I know that Brother Rosillo is going to do this work.”
I had been a member of the Church for less than a year, but I set a goal to get started on my family history—not because of what he said but because I felt a desire to do so. I obtained a four-generation pedigree chart and started by interviewing my parents and relatives to find out what they knew. Each time I worked on my family history, I prayed and asked the Lord for help.
To find the death dates of my maternal great-grandparents, I traveled to the town of Zorritos, in northern Peru, where they had been buried. The cemetery was on the outskirts of town, and most of the dead had been laid to rest in vaulted compartments.
I entered the cemetery and started looking, but I didn’t find anything. I then decided to go to town to ask a cousin if she was sure that our great-grandparents had been buried there. When she said yes, I told her, “Then I’m not leaving until I have those dates.”
I returned to the cemetery and began a methodical search, walking down every vault aisle and reading every inscription. I still couldn’t find their vaults, so I knelt and asked the Lord to help me. Then I searched again—but with the same results. I was tired, it was getting late, and I needed to leave so I could do other research I had planned.
“Well, I did my part,” I thought to myself. I would have to leave without accomplishing my goal.
Ready to leave, I turned toward the front gate. But just as I took my first step, I felt two hands take hold of my head from behind and turn it toward a certain spot. My eyes rested on a small, dirty headstone that was level with the ground. I looked behind me to see who had grabbed my head, but no one was there.
I walked to the headstone, lay on the ground, and cleaned off the inscription. With great gratitude, I read the information I was looking for: Isidro Garcia Rosillo, died August 1, 1934. Francisca Espinoza Berrú, died January 31, 1954.
My ancestors’ long wait to receive their saving ordinances ended in 1980. That was when my wife and I went to the São Paulo Brazil Temple to receive our endowments. At the temple I was sealed to my wife and baptized for my deceased loved ones.
As I entered the baptismal font, I remembered the small headstone at the cemetery. I went down into the calm waters knowing the Lord had guided my steps as I searched for my ancestors.