From Ronald J. Howe: I had the privilege to serve in the Guatemala-El Salvador mission from August 1968 through May 1970 under President David G. Clark.

I witnessed a vast increase in baptisms from the start of my mission to the end. Though retention was, and is a problem, those converts were the foundation for the Church which is so strong today. It thrills me to read in the "Church News" how a branch that my companion and I started is now a STAKE!

I was made a senior companion in the small town of Jutiapa. We lived in the building we rented for a chapel and I was the branch president. On the wall in our bedroom, I found a poem written to an elder called "Kenito Jones." It was a rather irreverent piece of work that sarcastically extolled the elder's practice of baptizing shoe-shine boys.

I removed the poem from the wall and still have it today. Because of it, I carried some animosity with me for years. In 1990 I found myself in the Air Force in Panama attending stake conference. The Panama mission president spoke and mentioned that he was from Guatemala so I made sure to speak with him after the meeting and discovered that he was from Jutiapa.

He asked me if by chance I knew the Elder that baptized him, Elder Jones, who they called "Kenito." He said he was a shoe-shine boy and he and his friends were baptized by "Kenito." He said several of these boys had served missions and are leaders in the Church in Guatemala.

We do not know who the Lord has chosen. I returned from that conference a humble man.