About seven years ago, the Rodriguez’s oldest daughter, Melissa, began meeting with the missionaries and was baptized. Her mother, a devout Catholic, was not happy. She attended Melissa’s baptism out of love for her daughter but thought her daughter was making a huge mistake in getting baptized.
Not long after Melissa’s baptism, the Rodriguez’s younger two daughters, Emily and Karlyn, 7 and 9 years old, also began expressing interest in the church their older sister Melissa had joined and asked their mom if they could go to church with her. Sister Rodriguez agreed, thinking that they would just go once and then want to go back to the Catholic Church they were familiar with.
Emily and Karlyn ended up loving church, especially primary and insisted on going back every week. Sister Rodriguez didn’t stop them from going but wasn’t thrilled about it either. She would drop them off or have them ride with Melissa but mom wouldn’t stay and worship with them.
This went on for seven years! Emily and Karlyn, now 14 and 16, actively attended Sunday meetings and then young women meetings and even girls camp each summer once they turned twelve. Sister Rodriguez allowed them to attend church activities but reminded them through the years that they could not be baptized until they turned 18 and made that important decision for themselves as adults.
Slowly, over the years, Sister Rodriguez’s heart began to soften as she saw the positive influence the gospel was having on her three daughters. She was particularly touched when Emily and Karlyn expressed their sadness that they were some of the only people sitting in church without their families. They urged their mother to attend with them.
At this point (about a year ago), Sister Rodriguez began attending Sacrament meeting with her three daughters every couple of weeks. She was touched by the way she felt when she was there and really felt that she needed to search out the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints more fully. She began reading the scriptures and praying on her own. She soon recognized the huge change of heart occurring in herself and she even asked Melissa (her oldest daughter who was the first in their family to join the church), “Have you been fasting for me? I don’t think I want to be Catholic anymore!”
My companion Sister Moses and I knew very little of this story when we were first assigned to the ward, only that the Rodriguez family had been coming to church for many years but had never been baptized. We had tried meeting with them without success over the summer, so we decided to fast for the family on the first Sunday in September. A month later, the mother and both daughters had received all the missionary lessons and were preparing for baptism. This past weekend, all three of these special ladies entered the waters of baptism!
We have felt so blessed to work with this wonderful family and help them start down the path to eternal life as a family together. We love them all so much!
Sister Jordan Lee
To share your missionary experiences, email the author at [email protected].