Grandparents Miller and Yasmin Fernandez just added college graduates to their list of accomplishments
“Grandma, Grandpa, do you have to do homework today?” was a common question in the home of Yasmin and Miller Fernandez. As parents, grandparents, business owners, and missionaries, Yasmin and Miller can now add university graduates to their list of many titles. But the title isn’t all they earned! Getting a degree gave them control over the direction of their lives.
Drifting from goals
Before Yasmin and Miller met, Yasmin lived in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, and Miller lived in Venezuela. Although they both wanted to attend university, neither of them could afford it. Not knowing what to do, they both moved on to find work. They later met while Miller was guiding a tour for Yasmin’s family. They married and, over the years, moved to several countries, all while growing their family and building and selling small companies to stay afloat.
Building faith through service
Three kids later, they moved to Florida, USA. “Being an immigrant is a long, hard road. We had to do whatever we could to get paid. We were going through a really difficult time, and that’s when two missionaries knocked on our door,” said Yasmin.
For years the full-time missionaries visited Miller and Yasmin, helping them learn to see the Lord in every part of their lives: Miller’s faith was reignited, Yasmin was baptized, they became grandparents, and they even started serving as missionaries for Family Search.
To top it all off, they were introduced to
A difficult decision
In a sad turn, their granddaughter became sick with congenital heart disease. After prayerful consideration, they needed to choose between their education and their missionary service so they could focus on their granddaughter's health. They chose to continue their education. Soon after, their granddaughter passed away.
Despite their heartbreak, the Fernandez family had hope for the future and faith in God’s plan. They bravely finished their foundational courses and continued their online degrees.
Fruits of their labor
After Yasmin and Miller both started their bachelor’s degrees in
Serving as BYU-Pathway missionaries helped them continue their own studies. “We helped one another a lot. We didn’t do it by ourselves,” said Miller. Together they supported students in the Caribbean area to continue their education and also to deepen their faith in the Savior.
“For those who weren’t members of the Church in our group, we were able to answer their questions and even see some of them be baptized,” said Miller.
Letting the Lord guide
Now graduated with their degrees and reflecting back, they realized God guided them to BYU-Pathway. The Fernandez family solidified their entrepreneurial skills and started a business flipping houses. Their decision set an example for their children and grandchildren and solidified their commitment to Jesus Christ.
Yasmin said, “It’s about having faith in yourself. You have to know that, if you put in the work, the Savior is going to help you. He’s going to lead you hand in hand.”