“A Joyful Meeting”

By Juan Aldo Leone

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    Fifteen years ago I, like Alma and the sons of Mosiah, experienced “a joyful meeting” (Alma 27:16). I had traveled from my home in Argentina to Salt Lake City to attend general conference and to perform temple ordinances there for my deceased relatives. To my surprise, in the corridors of the Salt Lake Temple, I ran into Brother Evans Jones, the missionary who baptized me 40 years before. Despite the passage of time, we joyfully recognized each other.

    We had met previously in 1942, when I was 12 years old and living in Córdoba, Argentina. On 5 February of that year, a small group of us gathered at an irrigation canal for my baptismal service. I still remember the feeling I had when I stepped into the water and felt the muddy bottom under my naked feet. I walked carefully, knowing I was doing something very important. My heart beat loudly in my chest as I made sacred promises to the Lord.

    Since then, I have been privileged to see the work of the Lord grow in Argentina as thousands have entered the waters of baptism. In those early days, we considered 10 people at church meetings good attendance. Today Argentina is home to 10 missions and 46 stakes, and we are blessed to have a temple in Buenos Aires.

    Fifty-two years after my baptism, my assignment as a counselor in the Argentina Córdoba Mission presidency took me back by that canal. I was able to observe that the waters of the old canal are still running, still giving life to the plants growing there—just as my baptism in that water gave a new life to me, my family, and my posterity. Thank you, Elder Jones, and thank you to everyone who shares the precious treasure of the restored gospel.

    Photographs courtesy of Juan Aldo Leone