Banana plantation to bishop

As a young man, Robin Mendoza had dreams of coming to America as he worked 12-hour days on a banana plantation in Ecuador.

"I thought it was impossible; I was so poor," said Mendoza, 37. But he couldn't dismiss the feeling that he was being pulled toward something different, something of the Spirit.

Though Mendoza's parents didn't discuss religion, from a young age he felt certain there was a living God.

One evening, feeling discouraged about his circumstances, he kept wondering, "Why me? Why am I going through this?" He went on to pray for guidance and saw lightning flash across the sky. He felt that God was really there, watching over him.

"I thought, 'Am I better than the Savior, who suffered so much, that I think I should have an easy life?'" Mendoza said. "It was about attitude. I had never asked, 'Why not me?'"

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