When Sylvan and Alta Minnix of the West Covina 3rd Ward, Walnut California Stake, began participating in the Family-to-Family Book of Mormon program in late 1987, they had no idea one of their books would play a part in the baptism of six members of a family living less than a mile away in La Puente, Calif.
Maria Espinosa had been introduced to the Church six years before the Minnix family's involvement with the program. Missionaries had visited her house, taught a first discussion and left a Book of Mormon. At the time, she wasn't ready to listen and asked the elders not to return.One day she told her mother, "I don't know why, but I don't feel good in my church anymore." She decided not to attend, and later visited other churches.
She enjoyed what she heard, but still didn't feel comfortable. She continued reading the Bible and decided to pray to be shown what to do.
After she got up from a prayer, she found the Book of Mormon that had been given her by the missionaries six years before and called the telephone number in the book. Fortunately, the number had remained the same.
Elders Doyle Collings of West Valley City, Utah, and John Gunter of Oil City, Pa., were surprised to hear a stranger ask where she might attend church.
Maria also asked to be taught the gospel. She, her mother, Petra Robles, and four of her children listened eagerly to the missionary discussions and read the Book of Mormon - including a copy of the book that had been contributed by Sylvan and Alta Minnix.
Though the Minnixes had not met the family, they had put their picture and written testimony in the front of the book. They testified that the Book of Mormon was a second witness of Christ, and that it was indeed the word of God.
Three weeks later, the six were baptized, and the elders mailed a follow-up card to the Minnixes that included the result of the contact with Maria and her family.
"Thank you, it's a great family," the elders wrote at the bottom of the card.
The Minnixes continue to participate in the Family-to-Family Book of Mormon program, donating two books per month.
"Now that our health doesn't allow us to do all the things we used to in the Church, it is nice to know that we can still be a part of the missionary program," Sister Minnix said. - Mary Nicholes, secretary to the president of the California Arcadia Mission.