Sunday, April 19, 2009

41 Years Later

In Nov. 1967 David LeFevre and I were sent to Ayacucho in the high Andes to help a little branch of members. There were 5 families in the city that were members. Two of the families, Espinoza and Ataurima were the first members of the church that spoke Quechua. The article that came out in the Liahona in July 1966 is included. We were in Ayacucho 70 days then we left and it was closed down to missionaries from 1968 to 1978. It was really sad to leave this town without missionaries and we knew that the members would be lost. FAST FORWARD 20 years when we were getting to know our missionaries in Lima. Three of the 5 Ayacucho families had boys of mission age (Roberto was born the same day I was in his house Nov. 29, 1967 and Julio Gonzales was born 1 Jan. 1968, l week before we closed down the town) The third was Josue Espinoza, the son of one of the two families that were the first quechua families to join, and a cousin to Roberto Atarima. ALL THREE OF THESE BOYS from these 5 families, THAT DID NOT HAVE MISSIONARIES FOR 10 YEARS, sent missionaries to the mission field AND ALL 3 MISSIONARIES WERE SENT TO MY MISSION.
FAST FORWARD April 2009: After 41 years, I have returned to see my families and my city. I spoke in 4 meetings today, plus a fireside and these are just a few of the pictures. Four of the 5 early families ARE STILL ACTIVE with ALL OF THEIR CHILDREN and grandchildren. The fifth family ANGEL HINOJOSA (who we baptized) was active when he died. The city is 20-30 times bigger, has 4 chapels and l stake. The first church building is located 25 feet from where David Lefevre and I lived in Parque Alemeida. This could only hapen in the true church of God. I went from being sad about our failure in Ayacucho to knowing that God knows us and has extended another tender mercy in our direction.















11 comments:

AJ said...

That is an amazing event. Thanks for sharing. Mom & Dad now have their own blog and my mom even posted this afternoon. You can get to Kent & Sue off of my blog list. Have a great day.

Scott said...

Thank you for your personal overview of the church in Ayacucho. I visited there in 1966, soon after the first missionaries went there. I had the privilege of going on splits with one of the elders, and we taught a missionary discussion to a non-Spanish-speaking Quechua woman (I THINK it was in Ayacucho), as her husband translated. My understanding was that the woman ended up joining the church, but I don't know how or if that's related to your story, or if my story is true. I barely remember what I did last week, let alone 43 years ago, so I could have my story totally wrong.

One way or another, I remember well my trip to Ayacucho, on a dirt road from Huancayo through some of the most rugged country I've ever seen. I was about killed twice, once when the car spun out of control off the side of the road (fortunately not near a cliff) and once when the car about rear-ended a truck (on the edge of a steep cliff), both times because the driver was going too fast, in spite of our pleads and threats. I don't think I ever told my mom about that trip.

vjc said...

goes to show-- never count missonary service as a failure Huh

vjc said...

wonderful story!

Kathy said...

Your stories are so inspirational! That whole thing could only happen in the true Church. What a great things you are doing and have done. Connie, you look so happy, well you both look great!

shelly said...

I so enjoy hearing the before and after experiences you have. Your right, what a tender mercy it is to experience the witness of our earlier endeavors. Your bucket must be very full.

Tom Earl said...

Amazing!

Earl Family said...

totally and completely amazing.

Samantha said...

Dad, that is seriously so cool. Justin, cali and I were talking about it this weekend. It's like something you would hear about during a general conference talk and not seeing the fruit of your labors. I'm so glad you were able to go back and be a part of that dad.

Cali said...

Great story...I'm glad you are documenting this stuff. I love you!

ashleyboice said...

great story...of course I read it before your email but have been really lazy about commenting . I love you guys.
ash