Monday, November 12, 2012

A seed is planted

A little seed is planted 43 years ago.

 At the Talca Stake Conference a brother came up to me and said, "I think I know you.  He pulled this picture out of his wallet.  On the back of the picture it says, Alegria Family, I feel grateful to have known you and watched you grow so much in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I esteem you a lot and know that your day of baptism will be your happiest day in your lives.  Stay firm in your faith and never stop going to church.  Lovingly, Elder D. W. Pulsipher"

Carlos Alegría was a 8 year old boy 43 years ago and his little sister was about 6.  The family wasn't able to be baptized at that time because the parents weren't married.  Divorce from previous marriage was nearly impossible to get back then and there were a lot of common law marriages.  The family was finally baptized in October 1971 - 2 years later.  In December 1971 the Constitción Branch was closed after some photos became public of the destroying of Catholic "imagenes" by some unwise missionaries.  It would be 5 years before the branch would re-open. I asked Carlos how his family stayed faithful during those 5 years.  He said his dad would read to the family from the Book of Mormon.  "We didn't have the Church but we had the principles."  Carlos was the second missionary to serve from the Constitución Branch in 1979.  The first was Roberto Caceres, another young man we taught.  When Carlos returned from his mission he was the branch president for 12 years.

Here is more of the family.  His children have served missions and are faithful in the gospel.

Carlos and his sisters are now grandparents

Then I got another surprise.  A sister came up to me after the Sunday session of stake conference and asked, "Do you remember me?"  Fortunately, I did.  Hemana Caceres, the mother of the first missionary from Constitución.  We baptized her along with 2 other sisters in October 1969 in the Maule River.  

She cried and hugged Doug like he was her long-lost son.  It was fun to witness these joyous reunions with my own eyes and capture the moment with a photo.

This is not her baptism but the same location a few weeks before she was baptized.


  1. Awesome stories. My brother had similar stories to tell when he served his second mission in New Zealand last year. It speaks to the truth that converts never forget who taught and baptized them. Keep those great stories coming!

  2. Sooo nice to see your smiling faces!!...what a wonderful story about the brother and sister who remembered you..made me cry!.

  3. Doug, another portion of that story happened at the temple after your conference. People from the Consitution branch/ward not sure, came to the temple and I asked how Elder and Sister Pulsipher were at the Conference just held. You had commented you were going. Brother Alegria spoke up and said that you had tuaght his family and how did I know you. They looked very pensive as I told them you and I had been companions in Calama. They were great in the baptistry with the Jovenes. Que Dios les bendiga siempre en la obra.

    Elder and Sister Layman