Liahona
Time for Church!
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Digital Only: Portraits of Faith

Time for Church!

The “angel” missionaries who persisted in teaching us the gospel of Jesus Christ helped us find love from Heavenly Father and a life full of blessings.

Bolivia: San Pedro de Lipez

Photograph by Leslie Nilsson

When the full-time missionaries started teaching us, I was skeptical and my husband was contentious. We didn’t really want to hear the gospel, but they were so determined to teach us that we knew they wouldn’t give up.

One Saturday night my husband, Javier, and I attended a party that lasted late into the night. Because we were up so late, we slept in and forgot about the invitation from the missionaries to attend church with them the next day.

When we heard them knocking on our door Sunday morning, Javier and I said to each other, “Let’s pretend we’re still asleep and ignore them.”

But the missionaries kept knocking. Finally they called out, “Brother and Sister Vasquez, we know you’re there. If you don’t open the door, we might just jump over your wall and help you get ready for church!”

We knew they were joking, but we decided to get up, open the door, and pretend we hadn’t heard them. We came out rubbing our eyes as if we had just woken up. They knew we were faking it, but they didn’t say anything.

“As soon as you’re ready,” they said, “we’ll go to the chapel.”

We got ourselves and our two children ready, and off we went. At church that day we were touched by the Holy Ghost. From then on, we never missed a meeting. The day we were baptized, October 17, 1976, was the happiest day of our lives. Becoming members of the Church totally changed us.

For us, those missionaries—Elders Reed Harris and Marty Kemsley—were like two angels. When they taught us how to hold a family home evening, they brought their whole zone. Somehow we managed to fit all those missionaries into our small home. The first hymn we sang was “Love at Home.” We’ve always remembered how that made us feel.

Later, Elder Harris asked us, “Do you know why we were so persistent to teach you and bring you to church?” Then he answered, “Because we know that you are going to be leaders in the Church.”

We never forgot that. Since our baptism, we have had many wonderful opportunities to try to emulate the Savior as we have served Heavenly Father’s children. I have served in many leadership positions, including as Relief Society president and Young Women president. Javier has served as elders quorum president, twice as bishop, and as stake president.

Recently we served a full-time humanitarian mission in Bolivia. That calling gave us the blessing of meeting many wonderful brothers and sisters, sharing our faith in Jesus Christ, and giving love, help, and humanitarian aid to some of our nation’s most vulnerable people and areas.

No long ago, after 42 years as members of the Church, we finally tracked down one of those tenacious missionaries who brought us the gospel. Reed Harris was then serving as a mission president in Chile. We shared a very emotional phone call. We wept as we talked of our families and our lives in the gospel. We thanked him for what the gospel has given us—a healthy lifestyle, love from our Heavenly Father, and a life full of blessings.