Early on a Sunday morning in 1947 Arwell Pierce, president of the Mexico Mission, John O’Donnal, and several other LDS missionaries, climbed to the top of a hill overlooking Guatemala City and held the first sacrament and testimony meeting in that country. Later, when Elder Spencer W. Kimball gave the dedicatory prayer at the opening of the Central American Mission in 1952, he said:
“Bless the missionaries and the Saints that great power be given, that their devotion may increase, that their labor may be fruitful, their testimonies convincing, that this great people may be converted and be healed.”
On August 1, 1965, the Central American Mission was divided and a new mission was formed, the Guatemala-El Salvador Mission. That same year ninety-two faithful members from the mission went by bus on a temple excursion to the Arizona Temple at Mesa.
Today, members of the Church in these two countries are in the Guatemala Guatemala City Mission, with five districts and twenty-two branches in Guatemala and two districts and ten branches in El Salvador. Guatemala also has one stake and ten wards and El Salvador has a stake with eight wards and two branches. There are at least 14,500 members of the Church in Guatemala and 11,500 in El Salvador.