About the Author
Mary Erety Vassel Hill was born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1941 to Dr. Bruno Vassel and Mary Erety Elmer. At the age of fourteen she went with her family to live in Sao Paulo, Brazil. On board ship going to South America were fourteen Mormon missionaries. Through their influence, Mary became convinced of the truthfulness of the restored Gospel, but her parents forbade her to join the Church. Two years later, after sampling the very sophisticated life of the American colony in Sao Paulo, Mary again turned to the Gospel and as a result of prayer received a burning testimony of its truthfulness. She was baptized November 9, 1972 in a reservoir near the city of Sao Paulo. While attending Brigham Young University, Mary was her class historian. She also attended Idaho State University and majored in Education. Since Mary first joined the Church she has been deeply involved in its activities. She participated on the executive committee of the first national Brazilian youth conference and traveled to various cities in Brazil for area conferences. She has been a YWMIA president, a Primary president and counselor, and has also served in a Relief Society presidency. Mary served a mission in Brazil in 1960-61, and also a stake mission in Pocatello, Idaho. She became a Golden Gleaner in 1969.