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Pure Religion: ‘My life changed’

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The fall of Marco Antonio began on the day he submitted his letter of resignation.

He had been serving as director of finance and administration for a company in Brazil, but he knew the company was facing severe financial challenges. So he resigned and began his search for another job. He didn't anticipate any problems. After all, he was well qualified; he had skills that would benefit many companies.

He began the usual process — e-mailed his resume, contacted headhunters, searched through the classified ads. He had a few interviews, but no job. For a year he searched for a job without success.

Things got worse. His wife of 12 years left him and, because his finances were so tight, he was forced to move back in with his parents. He had so little money that he couldn't even afford bus fare to search for a job.

Marco Antonio was at the end of his rope when a friend recommended the LDS Employment Resource Center.

"From the moment I entered the door, my life changed," Marco Antonio later wrote. The people there were optimistic and friendly. One couple had come all the way from the United States to help people such as himself find employment.

"I signed up for a career workshop and as it progressed, I became fascinated not only with the things that were being taught, but with this religion that was so interested in helping me. They didn't question the origins of my faith or my religion."

He went home that night and went through all the handouts and notes he had taken from the class. "I marveled at how simple but effective the principles were," he says. "All you had to do was follow the instructions step by step."

Not long after, Marco Antonio learned about an employment opportunity at a local TV station. He set up an appointment and began reviewing in earnest the material he had learned in class. The more he studied, the more confident he became. He practiced interviewing. He practiced how he would answer tough questions.

"The final chapter of my story," he writes, "is that tomorrow, a month after I discovered the LDS Employment Resource Center, I begin working for a large company where I can grow professionally." — Neil K. Newell, Welfare Services