Something to Discover

Something to Discover

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

Something to Discover

And, behold, it is your duty to unite with the true church, and give your language to exhortation continually, that you may receive the reward of the laborer. Amen.

D&C 23:7

I was born in Argentina in 1970 in a middle-class family and had two younger sisters, Cynthia and Veronica. We grew up in a very conservative society, where the Catholic Church was the dominant religion. We went to church every Sunday in a small town where my dad grew up; it’s a beautiful town that has a lake at its center surrounded by old buildings, museums and a large clock, which is the main attraction. The Catholic church where I attended Mass was one of the old buildings across from the clock.

We initially attended church every Sunday as a family, but in 1985 things changed. The economic situation in Argentina started to decay, leaving many without employment. Things were very difficult for middle-class families, and extremely difficult for the lower-class families. As a result, my father decided to go to the United States to seek work and find a better future for his daughters.

My mother had to start working full-time jobs—which included working on Sundays—so she had to stop going to church with us. Still, she sent us every Sunday, and made sure that we participated in Christian organizations. My sisters and I prayed for her and for our father, asking that we could someday be together again and attend church together as we once had.

It was difficult to see my mother working so hard and to see my father sending us money from a foreign country to try to help us keep up.

When I was nineteen, I started to attend the university. I couldn’t go full time because of the cost of transportation, and I had to copy most of the books and notes. I saved money by going to campus only to take tests and do all my hospital practices.

One day I was on my way to a hospital for practices. I used to wait for a church to open its doors very early in the morning, because I always liked to pray before I started my day working or studying. That day as I was waiting, I had the special feeling that I wasn’t alone—and that there was something else about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that I had to discover. After that day, I had that special feeling with me all the time.

I earned my degree as a physical therapist in April 1994, at the age of twenty-three. In 1995 my father invited me to come to the United States. He was living in New York; I liked it and wanted to stay with him, but things changed. A friend of mine from Argentina was living in Salt Lake City at the time, and she invited me to stay with her for a week.

While I was in Salt Lake visiting, her nephew worked with three young men who had been missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Two of them had served in Argentina as full-time missionaries. My friend invited them over, we had maté (a very popular drink in Argentina), and we talked and listened to music. We had a great time.

Later that week, Sergio—one of the former missionaries I met at my friend’s house—called to invite me to an activity they were having with the single adults of the Church at Temple Square. It was the first time I had heard of Temple Square. I was astonished by the beautiful sight and the magnificent view of the Salt Lake Temple. I felt so humble—then, in a flash, I remembered that special feeling I had experienced in Argentina while praying in the church that morning.

Everything was so clear, so pure; I felt so tranquil and knew that everything was going to be all right. It was as if Jesus grabbed my hand and helped me to do whatever I needed to do at that time. I filled out a form for the missionaries who were serving in a Spanish branch, because I could not speak English when I came. By the time they finished teaching me I decided to get baptized.

When I called my mother, she supported me; she was happy for me, and told me that if I wanted to be baptized, she was with me. The next day, she saw the missionaries riding their bikes; she stopped them and told them, “My daughter is getting baptized as a member of your church, and I need to know more about it.” They went home with her and started to read the Book of Mormon; my mother had had the book for a while, but had never paid much attention to it. Within two weeks, my two sisters got baptized, and my mother decided to get baptized in the United States.

In the meantime, Sergio and I started dating; we married in August 1996. My father left everything in New York, and my mother and two sisters left everything behind in Argentina. They all came to Utah for our wedding, and our family was reunited for the first time in ten years.

Sergio baptized my mother. Six months later, my father also joined the Church.

Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been a great blessing in my life. I can feel the Savior’s love stronger every day, and I know He is with me—and has been part of my life—always.

Silvana Norat

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