“Where Do I Pay My Tithing?”

The Lord Blesses a Faithful Woman for Her Sacrifice

photo-scaled-50013This experience comes from Julio Cesar Merlos of Texas, and was published in the September 2009 Ensign.

I was serving in the mission office of the El Salvador San Salvador Mission when the mission president transferred me to an area that had been closed for many years. The leaders of the branch there had not only prayed and fasted that missionaries would return, but they had also prepared for that day.

When I arrived, every family in the branch had friends who were ready to receive the missionaries. One member introduced us to a lady named Ana Oviedo, who sold fruit and homemade food on one of the busiest street corners in the city. While she was there selling food one Saturday morning, we asked if we could visit her at her home and share a message about Jesus Christ. She accepted.

When we arrived that night, Ana and her four children were waiting for us. We introduced ourselves and started teaching them. We felt inspired to teach about the blessings of keeping the Sabbath day holy. We also taught the family about tithing and the promises made by the prophet Malachi (see Malachi 3:10–12).

In response, Ana told us that she had already prepared to sell food the next day—Sunday—just as she always did. We then offered a prayer, asking Heavenly Father to bless this poor family, which needed the mother’s income.

The following day we were surprised to see her come to church with her children. We welcomed them and asked her what had happened with the food she had prepared to sell.

“Elders, I spent last night pondering God’s promises,” she said. “He will bless me.” Then she added, “Elders, where do I pay my tithing?”

We were moved by her show of faith, and we prayed that the Lord would answer our prayers for this family.

The next evening we went by her house again. She was crying tears of gratitude because God had blessed her so greatly that day. She said she had been selling food on that corner her whole life—Monday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.—and that she always had leftover items that didn’t sell. But that Monday she had sold all of her food by 1:00 p.m.
Heavenly Father had answered our prayers. The Lord continued to bless Ana, and she no longer needed to sell food on the Sabbath. Her children were soon baptized, but Ana’s husband would not consent to her baptism. Nevertheless, she remained faithful to the gospel and attended church until the day she died.

I know Heavenly Father keeps His promises when we obey His commandments with all our heart.

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