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Missionary moments: 'One more house'

While knocking on doors in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, in late summer 1960, my mission companion and I were about to return home when we felt inspired to tract out one more house. When we did so, an 8-year-old girl opened the door and welcomed us in. Her family, the Ojedas, were truly a golden family with eight wonderful children. They were ready and open to learning about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

A short time later I became ill with jaundice and was called back to the mission home in Mexico City for convalescence. A fellow missionary, whom I knew from Brigham Young University, Elder Louis Nackos, was sent to Merida in my place. He and his companions continued to teach the Ojedas. They baptized and confirmed four members of the family.

Fifty years later, when Brother Nackos was living in Columbus, Texas, he was serving with the young men in his branch and told them about his mission experiences in Merida. One of the elders assigned to the branch in Columbus, Elder Joshua Lopez, told brother Nackos that his mother was from Merida and had been baptized there. Brother Nackos checked his missionary journal and discovered that he had baptized a Roberto Ojeda and an Aida Quijano de Ojeda — Elder Lopez's grandparents.

That 8-year-old girl who opened the door that summer day in 1960 was Aida Ojeda, now Aida Lopez, the mother of Elder Lopez.

Consequently, Brother Nackos and I were invited to Elder Lopez's homecoming in Moreno Valley, Calif., at Sister Lopez's home. Many members from the Merida Branch of 50 years before had moved to southern California and were present at the homecoming. Sister Aida Quijano de Ojeda, whom Brother Nackos had baptized, was there in a wheelchair. Many others were present, including Sister Lopez's brothers and sisters, their children and grandchildren.

Sister Lopez said at the joyous reunion: "I feel very blessed to have found the gospel in my life. … Even though I was only 8 years old, my testimony of the gospel was already growing in my heart, and my spirit always felt good when I was in Church. … Fifty years have gone by, and I will forever be grateful for these two missionaries who sacrificed their time to come to a strange land and go through many hardships in order to bring the gospel into our lives." — Warren Edwin Davidson

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