Saturday, January 26, 2013

A One-sided Alma Moment

2  …therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.

I was thumbing through the 1999-2000 Church Almanac looking for data when I found the three stakes and their first presidents, all friends from my mission.

Stake Name Organized First President
Tucuman Argentina 21 Jan 1980 Ronaldo Juan Walker
Buenos Aires Argentina Moreno 20 Mar 1983 Carlos Domingo Marapodi
Jan Juan Argentina Chimbas 18 Feb 1996 Ruben Dario Romeu

I met Carlos Marapodi while serving in my first area, Santiago del Estero.  He was my third Zone Leader.  I found him inspired, dynamic, optimistic, and charismatic.  Ronaldo Walker became the Branch President of the Rawson Branch in the San Juan District shortly after I began my service in that area.  His personality was much like my former Zone Leader, although he was more serious, perhaps a function of a little more age and responsibility.  The Branch he led was divided and had shallow leadership.  He solved the problem by pressing the Aaronic Priesthood into duty.  He made sixteen year-old Ruben Dario Romeu his Executive Secretary and his fourteen year-old brother the Sunday School.  Guillermo Gonzalez, the Deacons Quorum President, ready the building for meetings every Sunday.  Ruben was intelligent, kind and had a strong testimony.  At sixteen, he was a respected leader of the Branch.  Eighteen years latter, he was made Stake President. 

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