Blessings of growth please early stalwarts

Esteban Mejia Calderon and his wife, Govita Mora de Mejia, are deeply grateful as they contemplate the growth of the Church in this city, which now has five stakes.

The Mejias are longtime members in this city who were baptized in 1942.They are quick to explain the growth by saying, "We have been blessed with wonderful missionaries."

But faithful members such as themselves also contributed to the increase in membership. The Mejias are the parents of seven sons and three daughters, all of whom are active in the Church and who hold callings. The oldest son, Santiago, has served as a stake president for nine years. Other sons and daughters also hold responsible positions.

"We have the great privilege each year to travel to Salt Lake City to hear the prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, and the others who serve with him," said Brother Mejia. "These are some of the blessings of our membership in the Church."

The couple attended branch meetings when they were one of eight families who met under adverse conditions in the early 1940s. They remember often leaving their home at 7 or 8 on Sunday morning and not returning until 9 p.m. that evening.

"We prayed and we walked," she said of those days.

He recalled a time when his employer refused to give him Sundays off to attend Church services.

`I left my job and dedicated myself to the work of the Lord," said Brother Mejia.

They remember the visit to Mexico in 1945 of President George Albert Smith. His visit reunited with the Church a group known as the Third Convention that temporarily left the fellowship of the Church. Sister Mejia's family was in that group.

`It was a day of great joy," she said. "Others went to Mexico City to see him there, but he came to Tecalco, and we were able to see him. It was a beautiful day."

Brother Mejia remembers working on the first meetinghouse in Puebla with his sons, mixing cement, a very difficult work, but one he now looks back on with a sense of accomplishment.

He, too, feels deep gratitude for the blessings of growth.

"It is wonderful to have so many members of the Church," he said. "We are progressing."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed