Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Ayacucho Tender Mercy

Recently on facebook Carlos Arana Araujo found me. He was 4 when I was a missionary in Ayacucho where I closed down the branch in January of 1968. As a result his family moved to Lima so they could be active. He and a couple of brothers went on missions and the family of 8 children (Sister Ana is on the right) are all members. So this man who was 4 then and whose father died in 1992 told me the following story. He asked me: you are the famous missionary KIRK DOUGLAS, right? I saw yes. (they could not say Earl and so I was elder Douglas. Kirk Douglas was big in those days and so I often said my name was Elder Kirk Douglas) He said (and I went back and read the account in my diary-- a story I had forgotten) that when we were moving from one branch building to another in Ayacucho, the police came and told us we had to have papers to be able to move. We did not have them. They asked me my name and I said KIRK DOUGLAS. Everyone got a chuckle out of that. Then they asked me for my address and I told them I slept in the Park. With that they had had it and they hauled me off to the police station. His dad was a radio announcer (and a member) and the news came in that the police had arrested a North American. He knew it must be the missionaries so he went down to the police station and stood up for us. They released me and his father stayed there in the jail for a few hours to satisfy the demands of justice. I had completely forgotten this story but he had been raised on it and had wanted to meet me for many years. He is now living here in Madrid and working to get his wife and family here. He has 5 children, but they only the 13 and 10 year old are still at home with their mother. She is a returned missionary too. They came up and we had dinner together. The Lord keeps giving me Ayacucho stories because I have always felt so bad that I closed that place down to missionary work.


duke of earl said...

There we go, a true (Kirk) Douglas Earl missionary story. Aliases, messing with the cops, and jail-time. (Sort of surprised the jailor didn't end up getting baptized--only now to be running a small supermercado around the corner from the temple in Madrid.)

Douglas and Connie Jones Earl said...

What, you didn't know? He was baptized and his name is Pablo!! Dad (point well taken)