Missionary moments: Led by spirit

In 1968, during the time I was president of the Florida Mission, I received a letter from a member of the Church, a young woman 20 or 21 years old who was living in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Santiago has more than 200,000 inhabitants and is located about 90 miles north of Santo Domingo, which is the main city in the country. Her name was Flavia Salazar Gomez. She had joined the Church in Mexico, had later married and moved to the Dominican Republic.

We had lost individuals, such as her, throughout the whole Caribbean area who were stranded from the Church. These people were our reponsibility, even though they were difficult to locate.She wrote that she was seriously ill from cancer, and the doctors told her she did not have very long to live. She asked if it was possible for someone holding the priesthood to come to Santiago and give her a blessing.

It wasn't long before I was to go to a district conference in Puerto Rico, near the Dominican Republic. Living in Santo Domingo was a Brother Dale Valentine and his family. I wrote Brother Valentine and asked if he would take me to Santiago so we could find and bless Flavia. I flew into the airport in Santo Domingo, and the next morning we drove to Santiago. When we arrived in Santiago, we realized that we did not know where she lived. I told Brother Valentine to drive his car down into the city and go down the first road off to the left.

Shortly after, I said, "Go to that next corner, make a right turn, and after you have made the turn you will find an empty parking place." He drove to the corner, made the right turn, and there in front of us was an open place where we parked the car. There was a gentleman on the sidewalk leaning up against the front of a residence. Brother Valentine asked if he knew Flavia. The man looked at him in surprise and said,"Yes, she's my wife. She's just inside that door." We had parked in front of the home.

I asked Brother Valentine to interview her and see how close to the Church she had remained. We were delighted to know that she was still living the Word of Wisdom and prayed every day. Of course, at the time, she had no Church to attend, but she felt she was a good faithful member.

Brother Valentine gave her a blessing and blessed her that she would recover from her cancerous condition, and in time this blessing was fulfilled.

This particular incident inspired our whole mission to seek out people who were less active, and to help reactivate them and bring new people into the Church. - Elder Glen L. Rudd, former member of Second Quorum of Seventy

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