Cesar Andres Guerra -Montevideo 4th ward, Montevideo, Uruguay West Stake
I was born in the city of Treinta y Tres, August 20th 1932. In that city, at the age of 16 years old I learned about the arrival of "protestant" missionaries who were teaching English to whoever might have been interested in languages. At that time I was studying French and, of course, I wanted to learn English also. With a friend of mine we started attending those English classes which a few months later became church meetings. After a few months of very amusing MIA meetings I decided to learn ab out the doctrine that moved those young men to go so far away from their country to start preaching the Gospel of Christ...Gospel that I thought I knew a little being a catholic by birth and tradition. The first discussion that James Allen presented to me was section 89- The Word of Wisdom. A miracle occurred then being that as they read from the D&C the veil was gradually removed from my mind and I knew that what they were reading was teh truth and that it came from the mouth of God. When they expla ined the verses I already knew what they meantsince they seemed to have been hidden up to that moment in the depth of my mind.
It was then 1948 and I wanted to be baptized in the first baptismal service held in my home town. My parents did not allow me to do it since there was much prejudice in relation to the Mormon missionaries. It is strange the appearance of prejudice si nce nobody investigated the Church so I suppose that ministers of other nominations sowed the seeds that flowered in opposition. I waited over a year until Melvin Brady, from Murray, Utah, spoke to my parents whofinally signed a permission form and I wa s baptized December 1st 1949 in the waters of the Yerbal creek in the outskirts of my home town. Melvin Brady baptized me with the help of Wilfurd Farnsworth. On December 4th, Elder Farnsworth confirmed me a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latt er-day Saints.
Since then I have receivedmany great blessings, especially those related to serve the Lord in the Priesthood ranks. I was ordained an Elder in 1953 and entered the mission field August 1st 1954. My first companion was Ronald Hadley from Ogden, Utah. I was sent to the city of Salto as Branch President and Senior companion! What a terrible winter for a new missionary with no instructions concerning the work! the members in Salto apparently realized my concern and opened their hearts and arms and pr otected us with the warmth of a true brotherly love! I learned to love them deeply. 10 months later I was sent to Tacuerembo where I served for 9 months and I finished my mission in 1956 being District President of the Montevideo District.
In March 1958 I married Lila Adelina Camara from the city of Rivera. We have today six children, 4 girls, 2 boys -five of them are already married and the younger one will marry next December. The two boys have served as missionaries also. I have left aside many names for fear of mentioning some and forget others. But I do not forget any of those beloved faces that have meant so much to me. I remember vividly the humble example of Mission Presidents and their families, some of which I keep in m y heart and who I remember daily. Some of my companions, so dear to me, live far away in miles but are kept in the softest corners of my soul.
The words of the prophets I ahve known sound in my ears. I had the privilege of translating for some of them.
I worked for the Church for many years as a translator and interpretater.
The greatest honor I have received in my life has been to be invested with the Holy Priesthood in which I have been from a Deacon to a High Priest and as such I am ordained Patriarch and a Bishop.
I have had the great joy also in being involved in Church choruses since music is the language of the spirit of men.
I have received many blessings from my Heavenly Father and the promise given in my Patriarcal blessing -"thou shalt not lack friends" is a blessing which has made my life rich. My greatest desire is to be able to see all my friends again and to old th em tightly in my arms in the bonds of endless love which will be the greatest gift given in the eternal realms. -Cesar Andres Guerra