Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Just One Baptism on A Mission Can Make A Difference: A Brazilian Tale

I came across a fascinating post by T.T. Taylor on the results of his grandfather teaching one man the only convert of his mission. I will share the post with you because it has been some months since it was published but it is quite remarkable how the man's family turned out. You can call it a modern day tale or a variation on the dirty Irish Kid story in this case the Brazilian version where one man's conversion results in hundreds if not thousands of people being influenced.

Sunday, May 18

Grandpa Jack

This is my Grandpa Jack Alex McDonald (my mom's father) on his mission in Sao Paolo Brazil. I absolutely love this picture because it shows how young he was! He has been on my mind a lot for the past two weeks, and so I wanted to share an important story about him that is very dear to my family. Mind you, this is the short-short-short version, to make sure that my shorter attention-span friends get a chance to read it. :) Oh, and sorry to cousins and uncles, etc. for not including all the details!

I've never known anyone who worked as hard as Grandpa, and I can only imagine what he must have been like as a missionary. I remember reading his mission letters and marveling at how sincere he was about wanting to do all he could to help the work move forward in Brazil. He begged and begged Church Headquarters for pamphlets, Books of Mormon, and other materials for the Brazilian people to have to better anchor the teachings of the missionaries (they were translating the Book of Mormon into Portuguese while he was serving).

In his long and faithful mission in Brazil, Grandpa only had one baptism - a Scottish immigrant to Brazil named Antony Aidukaitis (his companion performed the baptism). While he rejoiced in bringing one man into the Church, he still had some feelings of failure and disappointment.

Many many years later, around 1980, my Grandpa struggled as he saw my Grandma fade away in a fight with cancer. It was around this time that my Grandpa received a letter from Marcos Aidukaitis, the son of Antony Aidukaitis, thanking him for the work that he did in Brazil. Marcos was serving as a missionary, and described the strength of the Aidukaitis family in the Church. These sons went on to become Bishops, Stake Presidents, a Mission President, and Area Authority.

This past April Conference Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. I wanted to jump up and shout "Hallelujah!" for Grandpa. In the Church News a couple of weeks ago Elder Aidukaitis mentioned the baptism of his father and the effect it has had on their family.

Doctrine & Covenants 18:15
"And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"

At the baptism
Elder Jones (right), Antony Aidukaitis (center), Jack Alex McDonald (right)

This is one of those one person stories where by baptizing one many people are brought in to the church through their children and one of them becomes a general authority.

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