[Shared with Permission]
I visited the Catalina Branch yesterday. It was Kenny Carrillo farewell on Sunday. Kenny is a rescued young man that was baptized when he was 12 years old and spent the next 6 years inactive. 2 years ago, from what he said in his talk, the missionaries asked him to play the part of the missionary and them (the missionaries) the part of the investigator and had him teach them the message of the restoration. Well, he hasn’t left the church ever since. I saw him last week at the Mesa Grande Spanish mission president fireside and asked me if I could attend his farewell. I told him it would be my pleasure. Kenny was assigned the Tempe, AZ mission and is leaving sometime this week.
Yesterday 40 members from Mesa Grande (a Spanish Ward located in the Valley) attended the Payson Spanish Branch. The High Priest group leader (Brother Galindo) planned a trip to go support the members of Payson by attending their sacrament meeting that they hold at 5:00 PM. So far, I have only taken Mesa Grande members to speak there month after month. I told the priesthood that when you issued me the call, that by extension, you had issued “them” the call to support us in strengthening the members of the Payson Branch. Everyone that I’ve taken so far, has fallen in love with that little flock. I think that most of them has worked or served in their lifetime as a leader or as a missionary in a remote part of Mexico with a small branch just like that one, and I guess in a way, it takes them back and reminds them of the happy days, when one engulfs himself in building up the kingdom of our God. I didn’t have to drag anybody up there, President; every single one of them came and gave up their Sunday afternoon. If that is not one of the definitions of Zion, President, I don’t know what is.
When we arrived, they had only 12 cups filled with water for sacrament in 2 different trays, that was the number of people they were expecting, and that even included the 5 of us (my wife, my son and the 2 speakers that I always bring). I saw tears of joy rolling down their cheeks when the members of the Payson Branch saw that these members came to be, for the next 60 minutes their brother and their sister. I sat there and contemplated this selfless act. There is no glory for them in what they did, there is no recognition, no one in the church will ever find out. They did it because Christ is their Savior, their Master and Redeemer, the True Shepherd of that little flock. If Heavenly Father knows, then nothing else matters