We had a wonderful experience at the Campinas Temple this past weekend. We attended with the Sondereggers, and many of their friends. The Barbors, the Mazzagardis and others. Sister Mazzagardi told me her story and I would like to share it with you because it is a story of great faith and love. Brother and Sister Mazzagardi are called to serve as the new mission president in Vitoria Brazil. I asked if they had children going with them and she replied, "No, we only have two children, and they watch over us from Heaven." I felt bad that I had asked but then she proceeded to share her story with me.
They had both wanted children, but it took nearly ten years of marriage before they were finally expecting - twins, two little girls. They were so very excited, but about five months into the pregnancy she was diagnosed with tongue cancer. Because it was a very aggressive cancer they started treatment immediately, even though she was pregnant. The radiation caused the water around the twins to dry up so they were born early. One lived for six days the other for two weeks. By this time, she was so ill that she had fifteen doctors tell her to just go home and die, they wouldn't do the operation needed. And frankly, she was willing to do just that having lost both her little daughters and being without hope - but in steps her husband, a very determined and faithful man. He searched and finally found a doctor that was willing to try to save her life with an operation. They operated and cut away two-thirds of her tongue. The doctors said that she would never talk again and wouldn't be able to swallow so would have to be fed from a tube for the rest of her life. The next five years found miracle after miracle happening in her life, but during that period she was too weak to leave the house, so she stayed inside for five straight years. She would begin early each morning trying to eat small amounts of very soft food and would work all day to swallow enough to preserve her life. She was also given many blessings during that period. I will tell of two that were most inspiring. One was when a seventy was presiding over a stake conference and he turned to the stake president in the middle of the meeting and said, "I have to leave right now and go give Sister Mazzagardi a blessing," then got up and went to their home. Another time Elder Russell M. Nelson was at regional meetings here in Brazil and Sister Mazzagardi said to her husband, "I need a blessing today from Elder Nelson." Her husband replied, "That will be very difficult to do because his schedule is very full." So she said, "I hope you understand that I know that either I get a blessing today, or I will be dead tomorrow." Her husband went and brought Elder Nelson back for the blessing. Another time she was in need of x-rays to do a procedure and Brother Mazzagardi went into the x-ray room and the Spirit told him their machine was broken. He said, "Your X-Ray machine isn't working. There is a circuit board in your machine that is shorted out and you need to call to the United States right now in order to get a replacement by Monday when my wife needs her X-rays." They looked at him like he was a crazy person and said that it was working fine. So he told them to open the panel and pull the circuit boards to check. They finally did and sure enough, one of the circuit boards was fried. They sent for a new one in time for the procedure to be performed. The miracles are too numerous to type, but the end result is that she is now going on a mission with her husband! After they received her call her throat began to soften and it has become easier for her to swallow. She speaks very well (English and Portuguese, fluently) and I understood everything she said. They really are amazing people. Dad said to her that they should get a couple to help them in the mission and she said that would be wonderful, but if not they have learned to have faith and then just do. Coming from her and her experiences that sentence had great power. President Mazzagardi leaned over and said that we should come serve with them and added "We can negotiate the terms," with a little grin. I said probably not :)
They did tell us a story about Elder Mazzagardi's father when he was a mission president that I think I will share. He was transferring a Sister to a new area and she really did not want to go. She was very unhappy when he told her she needed to go to this area because he had been impressed by the spirit to send her there. She told him she was doing so much in her current area and she had family there she needed to teach but he was persistent and she went to the new area, but fighting it the whole time. She and her companion went to a teaching appointment with a family the first day there. She was so depressed she had not even looked up, just sat with her head down until it was her turn to teach. When it came time for her part in the discussion she looked up and when she noticed a picture on the wall, said, "Why do you have a picture of my aunt on your wall?!" Turns out that this was a part of the family that had been lost to them. The whole family was baptized and one hundred and twenty-four others, mostly relatives of the sister missionary. Just one more example of the great blessings promised to those who will obey. And really, should we ever try to counsel the Lord? We try at times but it never works out that well. We love you all more than words can ever say.
The Church is True.
Beijos and Braços!
Com Amor, Mom and Dad