Temple Moments: Felt a different spirit

When Purificacion Segovia heard the missionaries in the 1960s in Hermosillo, Mexico, she was surprised at the message they gave. Until then, when she heard about the North Americans, she presumed they were well-to-do and aloof.

"They were not rich, and the thing I liked about them was that members of the Church did not have to be rich. Rather, the Church teaches us to serve each other, care for each other and our families. Whatever they do, they do their best," she said.

She was baptized July 15, 1961, outside of town on the property of Church member Jack Farnsworth. After her baptism, she continued her lifestyle much as before. Blind, she was guided by a daughter. She worked at home, making tortillas on a rock, half of which she dropped on the ground and the other half were sold on the street.

At that time, there were about 50 members of the Church in Hermosillo, and they met in a small home. "I felt a different spirit in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than in other churches," she said.

Miraculously, two years after her baptism, a doctor examined her eyes and recommended an operation. After the operation, her sight partially returned. She was a valiant worker in the small branch, always faithful and always willing to do whatever she could, said her current bishop, Federico Montes Martinez, and his wife, Maria Teresa Chavril de Martinez, of the Reforma Ward, Hermosillo Mexico Stake.

In the late 1960s, the Hermosillo Branch began making temple trips to Mesa, Ariz. And as one of the faithful members, Sister Segovia made plans to go as well. To earn money for the trip she began doing laundry.

"She went from house to house and washed clothing," explained Sister Martinez. "She went by bus to the temple every year for many years."

Among those who attended the dedication of the new Hermosillo Sonora Mexico Temple Feb. 27, 2000, was Sister Segovia, now 92. "There is great joy in my heart today," she said. "Now I will be able to return to the temple as often as I want."

Another in a series of "Temple Moments." Illustration by John Clark