The One-Armed Man in the Plaza

The One-Armed Man in the Plaza

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

The One-Armed Man in the Plaza

Their first Saturday in a new area, Elder Castro and Elder Ramirez went to the plaza in search of a map of the area. As they entered the plaza, they heard a one-armed man calling out to them; he asked that they go with him and teach his sister and other relatives the gospel. He was already a member of the Church, but his family members were not.

The discussions went well, the family was baptized and they became active members of their local congregations. Oddly, though, the elders never again saw the man with one arm who had asked them to teach his family.

Six months later, Elder Castro was transferred to another area. When he arrived at district conference, he saw the one-armed man. He approached the man and asked, “Do you remember me?”


“Remember the day in Rio Grande when you showed a couple of missionaries where your family lived?”

“Oh, yes,” the man smiled. “What happened?”

“Your entire family got baptized—your mother, your father, your sister, your brother and all their children.”

In tears, the man called his wife to tell her the good news, which they had not known. Then he shared the following story, explaining why he had been in Rio Grande that day:

My brother and I had been sharing a bank account. A couple of weeks before I met the missionaries, I arrived home one day to find that my wife was very sick. We took her to the doctor, and after several tests, they said she needed surgery.They told me they needed a lot of money for the surgery by the next week, when the surgery was scheduled. It was urgent, and couldn’t wait.

I didn’t have any money, so I went to Rio Grande to look for my brother. I was having trouble finding him, so I decided to relax and take my child to the plaza. While there, I saw the missionaries, and took them to my family’s home. Several hours later, I found my brother, got the money I needed from the bank, and went back home—a six-hour distance from Rio Grande.

The next week, when my wife arrived at the hospital for the surgery, the doctor did another test. Much to his amazement, my wife no longer needed the surgery. She was fine.

God works in mysterious ways, and that one-armed man was in the right place at the right time to help the missionaries bring the gospel to his family. We need to remember the counsel of President Gordon B. Hinckley: It’s great when members of the Church not only pray for the missionaries, but pray to know how to help the missionaries in their ward. I know that as we do so, we will help others obtain the blessing of the gospel in their lives, and we will be blessed as well.

Lehi Yanez

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