From Craig A. Blackwell: The last area of my mission was in a small town on the east coast of Puerto Rico called Humacao. I assumed the new responsibility of a zone leader. It usually took me a long time to learn my way area new areas and this one was no exception, especially since our area was all campo or up in the country around the town. For the first month or so with my companion Elder Kuehne, we would drive past a particular neighborhood area on our way to appointments. I felt the distinct impression to go there.
Later, Elder Robinson from Roy Utah, came into my area on a split and the first place we went to, was to that neighborhood. After some time tracting, we knocked on a door where were greeted by a short, partly grey-haired man, Richard Pagan, who allowed us to come in. We taught him the first discussion and set a return appointment. The second discussion went well and he committed to be baptized.
We met his wife who wanted to take the discussions as well so, we returned and started teaching the discussions again. On the repeated second discussion, as we entered the house, we could no longer smell the cigarette smoke that had usually been so abundant. I asked Richard about it and he said, "I just felt like giving up smoking was the right thing to do." From that moment on he didn't even touch a cigarette. After that discussion he committed to be baptized again but his wife, Anajulia, wanted more time.
Conditions were such that Richard could not be immediately baptized. We worked with this family for six months and my second companion, Elder Soto, was the elder that helped them to finally commit. We finished up the last discussion with Richard a week before I was to leave the mission.
Before setting the baptismal day, I tried to figure out a day which would enable me to be present. When I opened my mouth I asked Richard to be baptized on jueves misional or Thursday night, which was the usual night for baptisms. Elder soto looked at me and said, "but you aren't going to be here?" All I could say was it must be the will of the Lord. Richard was baptized and about a month later his wife, Anajulia, and daughter, Christie, followed him into the waters of baptism.
Last summer I had the chance to return to Humacao. While I was there Richard Pagan was sustained as Elders Quorum President after completing service as secretary to the Branch President. It was a wonderful feeling for me to sit there in Priesthood and have someone who I taught, teach me the doctrines of the Church. In Richard's house resides happiness, the Spirit, and the blessings of the gospel. I had never really witnessed the full power that the Spirit can have in changing lives until that day. Richard Pagan was prepared to accept the gospel and is truly a pioneer as he has given of his time and efforts to the missionaries as well as building up of the kingdom of God in Puerto Rico.