Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blog of the Month: Former Mission President Doug Earl Serving in Trenches as a Couple

I have been fascinated reading a former mission president's experiences while serving in his former mission today where he has returned to teaching returned missionaries building skills as part of the Perpetual Missionary Program. It is motivational to see a man return and search out his former missionaries years later. He has been on a quest to find them all. He seems to be quite in demand as a speaker also. To many mission presidents their missionaries are like their own children. When Thomas S. Monson calls a man to mission president he tells him and his wife should treat the missionary like their own child. It is not often that a mission president can return to his former mission as an older couple missionary but that is exactly what Doug and Connie Jones Earl are doing in Lima, Peru. When the couple was in the MTC there son Michael was also there going to a Spanish speaking mission.

Doug says about his Lima connection:
I arrived in Lima Feb. 1st when I was 20. Our first day as mission presidents in Lima when I was 40 was Feb. 1st, 1988. I am now 60 and we are headed back to Lima around the 28th of January. This picture is from the Tuxtla Gutierrez Temple in Mexico. We are excited to go back to Peru. Our mission change from Colombia to Peru is the right thing for us and the work we will be doing. We can be alot more effective in Peru. We intend to have a two bedroom apartment to encourage visitors.

In one of his first posts he says:
Had a great dinner last night with a few of my closest friends. Four assistants, wives and many other missionaries showed up, two from Arequipa. Aguero, Hna. Heath, Onofre, Ivan Silva & Wife, Doug, Connie with Barrera, Maximiliano, & Gamarra in front, Fanarraga, Jose Romero & wife and below Tirado, husband and Luis Tejada. Let the party begin. Javier Obregon left a little early on a job and Moises Arce did too.
In a post entitled Liliana Calderon Gamarra he wrote:
Liliana was one of my lady missionaries from Huanuco. This is a picture of her son who left for Argentina today on his mission. Both his parents were missionaries and he was born in the covenant. She reminded me that when they came to the temple to be married in 1989, they had failed to get their recommends for marriage as they only had their old recommends. They had to be married on the 19th of September because the temple was to be closed for a month and they had been married civilly that morning. They also were to have the reception that night. They were waiting at the temple and trying to find someone to solve the problem. We took a detour that morning by the temple (for what reason we cannot remember because they wasn't something that we did regularly) When they saw us, being that I had been her president, she told us of their problem. As the mission president I was the only person that COULD sign their recommend because they lived in the district of Huanuco. SO, I was able to sign their recommends and they were sealed on that day. We took pictures of that at the time and I have them. Another small miracle that happens daily.
His entry for Wednesday, 22 October 2008 read:

We were in the temple yesterday and the lights went out. A lady came up to me and said are you Pres. Earl. When I said yes, she said she was the mother of Marco Flores. Marco was one of my very serious an very good missionaries. He died a few years ago after battling disease for 12 years (he was in bed for 12 years) He was the last missionary that I took him that lived in Lima because it made me too sad to see where they lived and what they were going back to. It made me remember the letter he sent me asking for help and the help we were not able to give. I was happy to see her but sad to think about Marco.

I wonder how many former mission presidents are now serving as a couple mission in any capacity whether proselyting, humanitarian, seminary or Perpetual Mission workers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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