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Hi I'm Victoria

I am from Ecuador. I am a grandmother (abuela) to wonderful kids. I love to help others. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, was raised in Quito and I come from a family of 11 brothers and sisters (7 boys & 4 girls). We grew up poor and there was no tv in our home! We were so, very poor... When I visited my grandmother, Juana de Dios Obando de Gomez, she had no power, no water, no car. She lived in a little town, Pomaski. She was a nice lady, like a Mormon, didn't drink coffee or tea, ate mostly fruits and vegetables and she lived until she was 102 years old! She was like the Dr. in town. She cured kids with herbs and she prayed a lot. From my Grandmother, Juana, I learned to love flowers, animals, kids and people from all over. I used to milk the cows that she had and we would make butter and cheese. I have sweet memories of my dear grandmother and know that I will see her again because of our Heavenly Father's Plan. I came to the United States in 1968 when I was 28 years old. I had left my daughter in Ecuador, hoping to send for her as soon as I could. This was so hard for me. 6 long years would pass before I would finally have for her by my side. My childhood was hard. When I was 8 years old I had Typhus, 10 years old I had Malaria. Everybody was sick at home. I am thankful that I came to the United States and was able to find the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that my family and now my grandchildren may live the life that Heavenly Father would have them live. Being a single mom, raising my family in Los Angeles was not easy, but the Church helped me.

Why I am a Mormon

Before I left Ecuador to come to the USA, I met the Mormon missionaries at a conference they invited me to. That is where I first heard Joseph Smith having the first vision seeing Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I remember this impressed me so much. I wanted to learn more and to invite them to visit me at home, but soon left for Los Angeles, California. When I arrived, I hoped to send for my daughter as quickly as I could. 6 years would pass before I would have my daughter in my arms again. Can you imagine how hard this was for me? Leaving her to come to America was the hardest thing I had ever done. God worked in special ways. I met my son's father, Charles, in 1969 in Burbank, California. I used to work across the street from where he lived for an 87 year old woman, living-in as an aid providing personal care for her. I was paid $150 a month. Charles lived in a "half-way house" where people paid $21 a week for room and board and to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. When we met, I explained that I was from South America, Ecuador, and near Peru. He said that his uncle lived in Peru. He took out a piece of paper and wrote my name with his last name and said that he wanted to marry me!... "Victoria Shelburne will be your name...", he said as I began to cry and told him that I didn't want to get married because I had left my 6 year old daughter in Ecuador and wanted to send for her. Through time, Charles and I got to know each other, became good friends, found love and soon decided to be married. I planned for a Catholic priest to marry us and it was going to cost several hundred dollars for the ceremony. Charles said, "Let's get married in my church!... It won't cost anything." I asked, "What church do you belong to?" And he said, "I'm a Mormon." 3 months later, after hearing the missionary discussions and realizing that I had once met the missionaries in Ecuador, I decided to join my faith with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

How I live my faith

Living each day as a friend to everyone I meet. I love to help everyone anyway that I can. Even though I may not have much money, I know it doesn't cost anything to be nice. I love to laugh and help others laugh and smile. I know life can be hard at times. I have lived a hard, poor life, working since I was 7 years of age in Ecuador, in order to help our large family care for one another. I have learned through my life of experience that education and wisdom comes from learning from others and learning from our mistakes. I was raised to know and do what was right. So when I first heard of the Mormon missionaries in Ecuador, their message was special to me. I wanted to learn more. Something about it's message of faith that added to what I had been taught by my grandparents and parents. Because I am a Mormon, I find it easier to live my life by faith everyday. And I am thankful that my 3 children and 7 grandchildren can be raised by the faith that the teachings of Jesus Christ brings. I always feel that my Heavenly Father holds my hand and never lets me go. I know that we are all children of God.

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

The sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ was necessary for everybody in the world to pay our sins. My grandmother used to say that the fingers of our hand are not the same, but different. And people are the same. Although we are all different, we are all connected because of the Atonement and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12:12 it says: For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. His last and great eternal sacrifice seals us to Him. And because of Him we may be forgiven for all of our sins and return and live with Him someday. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 I am grateful for the Savior in my life. He was obedient in all things and the greatest example that we could ever hope for. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

The purpose of the welfare services of the Church is to help the poor and the needy. Work training and opportunities may be provided for all to help keep those without work busy and to help bless the lives of those who need it. When our family was in financial need, I used to work can peaches, beans, beef and all canned goods that were produced by the church. At the Church farms in California, we picked pears, apples, melons, and whatever was planted, we picked up. We always provided service for the foods that our family was blessed with. When my children were young and our family was in need, I could bring them and they could see and understand the wonderful acts of love and service around us. I remember women sewing blankets for those in need, parents outside gathering the harvest, while children were being watched at a nursery. We did our part for the welfare services of the Church and have always been blessed. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Mormons help EVERYBODY. It doesn't matter what faith or religion they are. We are all Children of God. *As of 2015, there are over 15 million members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and there are over 7 billion people on the earth... White, black, brown, yellow, red it doesn't matter what color is your skin or what country you come from... We all deserve to help one another always. My grandma, Juanita, was such a beautiful example to help everybody. She was like a doctor in a small town near Quito, Ecuador called Pomaski. She cured all who would visit her, young and old. I always say that she was like a Mormon because of the way she lived her life. LDS is stands for "Latter Day Saints", a shorter way to say members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or "Mormons." But LDS can also stand for "LETS DO SOMETHING!" We have to be anxiously engaged in a good cause to help all of our Heavenly Father's children, in every nation, kindred, tongue and people... Living the principles of this Church and Gospel inspires me everyday to help all who I meet. In April of 2014, a tornado came through the town of Tupelo, Mississippi where I live with my son and his family. My son went all around the streets and helped his neighbors throughout the small town. The local LDS church had chainsaws and tarps available for these emergencies. They ordered more and distributed them to Mormon members so that they could serve anyone in a time of need. Show more Show less

Why is it important for us to take care of our bodies? Why are our bodies called temples of God in the Bible?

We are temples of God. We don't drink liquor, tobacco, coffee or black tea. We have to be clean and be good examples so the Spirit can dwell within us. When I first had the missionary lessons with my children's father, they taught me about these higher laws to help my body stay pure for the Spirit I could have in my life. But my husband was an alcoholic and he smoked cigarettes. I tried to tell him to care for his body, but we each have our freedom to choose. I know we have to be clean on the outside, but more importantly on the inside. I tried to be an example to my husband and my children, my friends and my family. I accompanied my husband to alcoholic anonymous meetings and I prayed for him. Two years before he passed away he was sober and free from the addiction that had hold of him his whole life. I know that since the spirit and the body together are the soul of man (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:15), what affects one affects the other. I am grateful for the fulness of the Gospel that has helped me and my children and grandchildren to keep their lives clean so that their spirits may be clean also. In everything we can always look to the life and example of Jesus Christ. The Mormon church taught me many truths and has blessed me many ways. I know that as we live our Heavenly Father's Plan for us that we may be a forever family in the eternities. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Yes! I believe. Because all of the prophets called of God are humble and obedient. When the first apostles of Jesus were with the Savior at the Garden of Gethemane, He asked them to stay awake. Peter, James and John wanted to stay awake, but they were very tired. The Lord of heaven and earth would begin the last and great sacrifice, the infinite atonement for all. His closest friends and associates could not wait and stay awake while He went to pray. (Mathew 26:36-39; Mark 14:33-35). The early apostles were learning how to be obedient and humble. They were learning to overcome the natural man and this temporal world. The Savior was always teaching. And He entrusted the Keys of the Kingdom and the authority to act in His name with his disciples. And just as there were prophets before the life of Christ and after His ministry on the earth, we need living prophets even more in our day. I believe all of the living prophets that have been called in our latter days have been prepared through their faith and obedience. Throughout history, God has chosen prophets, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others, to teach the gospel and direct His Church (Amos 3:7). It is no different today. We all need God’s guidance in a world that is sometimes confusing. Because God loves His children, He continues to send living prophets. Joseph Smith (1805–44) was the first prophet of our time. I believe Thomas S. Monson is God’s chosen prophet today and I thank my Heavenly Father. Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

To teach people the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be nice! The Savior taught His disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19). As followers of Jesus Christ, members of His Church are happy to share the good news of His restored gospel to all who are willing to listen. When I was in Ecuador, Mormon missionaries invited me to join their special Conference and I enjoyed all of the wonderful words I heard. It was so spiritual and so nice. All of the speakers were so nice. They asked me what I liked the most, and I said, "the part that spoke of the First Vision. I had never heard that before." They offered to share more with me, but it was not until I would suddenly move to the United States that I would learn that my future husband was a Mormon. With new missionaries, I would continue the discussions and make a decision to join my faith with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and be baptized. My sons were called to serve full-time missions to Hawaii (1989) and the Domincan Republic (1991). I have met some of the families and individuals that my children have shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with and I am grateful whenever I see these young missionaries leaving their homes and families. Something I have done from my heart, is to give $20 to all new missionaries when they serve. It may not be much, but I know that they pay their own way to serve the Lord. I look forward now to learn where my grandchildren may serve their missions. Show more Show less