New York Service Missionary

Sister Nelly Ibanez

43-16 53rd Street Apt 1E
New York, NY 11377

Home: (718) 476-1581
Cell: (917) 658-9095

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I was born in Colombia, South America and I am the oldest child of six. I have four sisters and a brother who died in his childhood. When I was 8 years old my parents came to the United States and left me and my two younger sisters in the care of my paternal Grandmother and Aunt. My Grandmother was a positive influence in my spiritual development. She enrolled me in Catholic school, made sure I went to mass on Sundays, and also taught me to say my prayers every night before going to bed.

At the age of ten (10) I was reunited with my parents and a new baby sister and one on the way and two years later they had a boy. My parents were non-practicing Catholics. We only went to Church on Easter Sunday, baptisms and weddings. Even though we did not attend any Church I knew in my heart that my Heavenly Father loved me and that he answered my prayers. Most of my life I have lived in New York City where I attended grade school all the way to 2 years of College, but I didn’t graduate. In 1980 I got married, didn’t have any children and my ex-husband was also a non-practicing Catholic.

I started working for the New York City Department of Sanitation in 1981. I started as a clerk and moved up the ranks to Administrative Assistant to the Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of Sanitation.

In 1990 I realized that I needed to get closer to my Heavenly Father and needed him in my life. I decided to go back to Church and naturally I went to my neighborhood Catholic Church since I considered myself a Catholic. Once there I felt so alone instead of feeling comforted. At first, I thought that it was because this particular Church building was dark and kind of gloomy, and also because I had been away so long that I felt like a stranger in a strange place. I then decided to give it another try and went to another Catholic Church with my neighbors. The Church building was much brighter and cheery than the one I had attended the previous Sunday. Even thought, I was with friends and in a different atmosphere I still felt there was something missing, but I didn’t know what it was at the time. I then decided that going to Church was not for me.

After a couple weeks of making that decision, I happened to see a commercial on TV about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As I listened to the message, I felt the spirit so strongly that I knew that this feeling was what I was missing before. I immediately called the number and asked for a book of Mormon to be sent to me. A week later I received a phone call and was asked if I wanted the Missionaries to visit my home. As soon as I heard the first discussion I knew in my heart that I had found what I was looking for. I had no bought whatsoever that I wanted to be baptized when the Missionaries asked me. I was baptized on July 30, 1990 which was also a special day, my mother’s birthday.

My then husband did not accept the gospel but I was grateful that he supported me in my decision and was always nice to the many missionaries who came to visit and all the Church members.

In 1994 we bought a house and moved to New Jersey where I continued to grow spiritually and served in many callings. Unfortunately, as I grew stronger in the gospel my ex-husband became involved with people that were not doing the right things and he changed for the worse instead of becoming a better person. I had to make the hard decision that for my spiritual well being I had to get a divorce.

I moved back to New York City to be with my family in 2001. My mom passed away and I moved in with my Dad after her death. After 31 years with the NYC Dept. of Sanitation I retired at the age of 57 and now I am looking forward to enjoying my retirement with my family which has grown quite a bit. I have 8 nieces, 5 nephews and two grand-nieces and one on the way. I also want to serve as much as I can and I’m looking forward to this new calling as a BYU-Idaho Career Internship Missionary.