Elder José A. Teixeira, Portugal
Europe Area President
Europe Area President
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is manifested in our choices, especially in the face of adversity. By holding to the iron rod, in the faithful Saints in Europe are reaping the fruits promised by the Lord and becoming more spiritually and temporally self-reliant.
Serghei and Mariana both found the Restored Gospel at age 19. After Serghei received a Master’s degree in law and Mariana served a mission, the Covali family chose to settle in their Moldova, where most of the young members had already emigrated to other countries. They live on his income, “so our home can be Gospel centered - a safe place for the mother to teach Gospel living.”
“It was difficult with one breadwinner but, after testing our faith, God has blessed us with enough providence for our needs.”
“My co-workers know I don’t work on Sunday. At age 28, I led the Moldovan office of a foreign law firm. That came unexpected in that I had left for a mission after law school. I was afraid that in two years, I would forget my studies and no one would hire me. But at 28, I realized that the Lord paid up tenfold. I was the youngest lawyer in the country heading a foreign law firm. Now, at age 30, I feel blessed to have this position.”
Valclav and Marina Sindylkovi joined the church as newlyweds just before the fall of state socialism. They experienced trials and blessings raising five children in a country where two children are enough. Says Vaclav, “The Gospel is the best we could give our children.” In a society where financial survival requires two working parents, we value eternal relationships. With family time a priority, I chose work close to home, at lower pay. My wife is home creating strong family bonds. As full tithe payers, we have always had enough. Our church activity motivates the children to attend. But, the real key to righteous prosperity is regular temple visits. The Spirit touches us to become more kind and loving to each other.” Three of their children have now served missions.
18 yr.-old Karoline Gunason of Iceland is preparing for a mission. She side-stepped the tradition of Graduation Day drinking by refusing friendly offers. “There is no fun without alcohol,” they chided. “Even though some people did not understand my reasons, I also had the chance to bear my testimony to others who listened.” Karoline’s testimony is that “Courage not Compromise,” affirmed by President Monson, creates missionary opportunities.
Brother Angelo Melone, diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, had the resolute faith to leave the hospital to attend church every Sunday during treatments. Angelo was healed through his faith. His courageous example influenced a young investigator to join the Church.
Later, Brother Melone was prompted to prepare his family for an oncoming earthquake in L’Aquila. On April 6, 2009, his home, a few kilometers from the epicenter, was destroyed. His family escaped with documents and basic necessities. The night before, another car occupied his parking space, so he had parked further away. That car was completely destroyed, whereas his car was saved. His and three other member families stayed protected in it while waiting for rescuers from the Church.
His 7 yr. old daughter drew a picture of their demolished home…”The Melone house, destroyed by the earthquake”. He assured her, “The Melone Home is built on the rock of the Gospel and will never be destroyed.” She took hope and smiled again.
These are just a few of the many testimonies of faithful saints in the Europe area. I bear my testimony that, as we remain faithful, we can find joy even in the midst of challenges in life.