This post was written on May 28, 2006 in Argentina.
The other Sunday in my ward in San Miguel, Las Heras, Argentina, the bishop gave a lesson. In his lesson, he talked about the Martin-Willy handcart company. When he was talking, the spirit touched me so strongly. These are my ancestors. They sacrificed so much for me. Their legacy and faith has blessed the lives of the generations that have followed them. So many in our family are strong in the faith because the people who came before us didn’t give up. I am grateful for the legacy that they have left for me and for my family. I raised my hand and spoke about the effect that their sacrifice has had on my life and then the spirit taught me. The people who I am teaching are also pioneers. we are all pioneers in our own sphere and circumstance. The sacrifices that we make today to keep the commandments, go to church every week, have family home evening, fulfill our church callings, the things that we teach to our children will have a huge impact on the generations that will follow.
My mom once said to me that reason why our family is so blessed is because of the faithfulness of our ancestors, those who came before us. I know that’s true. It makes me so happy to see these people who I am teaching be baptized. I know the sacrifices that they make and are making will have a lasting effect for the unborn generations that will follow. The same for those of us who are not faithful. The choices that we make everyday will affect the lives of thousands. For that reason, it says in my patriarchal blessing, “the most important work that you will do here upon this earth will be that which you do within your own home”. I want to leave a legacy of faithfulness for those that will follow me so that they can enjoy all of the blessings that come from the atonement of Jesus Christ.
This is Oscar. He got baptized in San Martin. He had a dream about meeting the prophet and he had such a strong conviction of the gospel.
This is Anahi. She was only 13 years old and was the only person in her family to get baptized. She was a really special girl.
This is Margarita and Javier. They were from Peru and were in Argentina so that they could work and send money home to their family. They got married and then got baptized in Dorrego. It was beautiful.
This is Ercilia and Santiago. Ercilia was working 10-12 hour days six days a week and taking care of her 87 year-old father, Santiago. They were so receptive to the gospel and after praying and obtaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon they got baptized in Las Heras, Mendoza. It took a lot of sacrifice for them to travel the long distance to church every Sunday. When Santiago got baptized, he pretended to dive into the baptismal font because he was so excited.
This is Clementina. She was brought up with a different religion and had a lot of trouble accepting that Joseph Smith was a prophet. But one day when we were teaching her about Joseph Smith, we invited her to pray to God at that time and ask if it was true. She knelt down and received an answer right then through the Holy Ghost. It was a very special experience.
Damian (second to the left) was 20 when we taught him. He and his brother got baptized in Las Heras, Mendoza. He had a really great friend that shared the gospel with him (far left).
Hugo got baptized in Las Heras, Mendoza. He had a really hard time giving up smoking but he did because he knew that he needed to get baptized.
Claudio (left) got baptized in San Martin, Mendoza. His friend Hermano Olviedo shared the gospel with him and invited him to meet with us in Hermano Olviedo’s home. The very first time that we taught Claudio, the spirit was so strong. He immediately accepted our message after praying at the end of our discussion and he decided to get baptized that night. His family didn’t get baptized but he was just an amazing man. The last I heard from him, when he called me a few months ago, he was still very strong in the gospel. He is battling with cancer. Claudio is an amazing person. I’m sad that it’s so hard to keep in touch with everyone from Argentina.
Josephina (the middle with a black cardigan) is a very special person to me. We knocked on Josephina’s door and taught her about how Jesus Christ had restored His church to the earth again through the prophet, Joseph Smith. She prayed with us in her home and asked God whether it was true or not and got an answer through the Holy Ghost. She later shared the gospel with her friend, Christina and her Husband. Both of whom got baptized. I miss her. This is a picture of her at her baptism surrounded by the members of the church in Dorrego, Mendoza, Argentina.
I love all of these people so much. They are all amazing examples to me of latter-day pioneers. They all faced many challenges before and after they were baptized. Many of them were the only members of the Church in their families. They all received testimonies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through prayer, study and personal revelation from Heavenly Father. They too will leave a legacy for those that come after them if they “endure to the end”.
This is a picture of Hermana Perez from Las Heras. After becoming converted to the gospel in her 40’s (i think) she was so faithful until the very end. I think that she was in her 90’s in this picture. She would make lunch for us regularly. She struggled so much to physically get to church but she did because she loved the Lord so much. I want to be just like her and leave a legacy of faith in Jesus Christ for my future kids and grandkids.