The remarkable story of Guillermo Gonzalez, a Mormon pioneer in Mexico

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  • JGracia St. George, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:55 p.m.

    I was especially exited to once again hear the Story of the conversion of Guillermo and Gudelia Gonzalez. I had just been called to be a Zone Leader with Elder Angerbour in Hermosillo when they arrived to the mission home for the first time. All the Zone Leaders met to meet the new Mission President and receive instructions for the work that would unfold. It was prophetic. He said the mission would be baptizing by the thousands per month and referred to Acts 2:38-41 (three thousand were baptized in one day) Doing it with the spirit was the key. He also said 3 stakes would be established and challenged anyone to write these things down to prove him. There was much that was said and you knew he spoke with great power and authority. I served with him my last three months and witnessed the change that was taking place.

    My Dad Jose Gracia was serving as Branch President in Monterrey Mexico when the Gonzalez's joined the church (He is the one standing in the far left in the picture and my sister Ruth is third from the left)

    It was an honor and a privilege serving under his direction.

  • PapaRob Lehi, Utah
    Aug. 19, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    We who served under President and Sister Gonzalez were VERY blessed, though we have probably never worked so hard in all the years since. They forever changed our lives and taught us the true meaning of 'exito'. Their lessons of determination, vision and hard work could never be quantified. Wherever the great photos came from....much appreciated!

  • Edgar Almaguer ARGYLE, TX
    Aug. 16, 2011 10:26 p.m.

    As stated by the 13th article of faith: If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

    And the Gonzalez brothers are to me an analogy of what is stated in Article 13 of faith. I had the pleasure of knowing them from an early age, spending time with his youngest son Richard Allen, who I had a strong bond and great friendship with.

    So many talents of the Gonzalez brothers worthy of admiration, But one always has inspired me was his humility. I remember it like yesterday, he had great charisma, and he was very jovial. My father Carlos Almaguer, he always expressed admiration towards President Guillermo.
    His personality, a person with full determination, he knew what he wanted and where he intended to go.
    When he received the call to serve as president of Mission, he had to quit her job in the Railway Company. Which meant that he would lose all his years of been part of that company and his retirement pension.He went ahead and fulfill his duties in the calling with great cheer and passion, but above all very humble.

  • Big Red '93 The High Plains of, Texas
    Aug. 15, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    J-TX, I'm up in Red Raider land in Lubbock. Hot, dry and pretty much a wasteland this year. We're running out of water fast! I spent time in Arizona Tempe Mission waiting for my visa. When I finally got to Mexico, I served in Culiacan, Tecate, Hermosillo and Los Mochis.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 15, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    Hey, Big Red, Paisano! Where are you in TX?

  • Laura Gonzalez Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
    Aug. 14, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    My mom served in a LDS mission under President Gonzalez....years after she married his son .....So what I could say about them they are my grandparents....
    My grandfather lifeĀ“s was dedicated to the church and is now reflected in the way nowdays the lidership are leading the members.
    My brother is a bishop in one of the wards of the stake and I have been the oportunity to serve others thru many ways.
    My little brother has 2 childs one of them was called Guillermo Gonzalez.

    Aug. 14, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    Great story. It would have been perfect if you had included the names of the sister missionaries who spent the whole day teaching the Gonzalez family.

  • Big Red '93 The High Plains of, Texas
    Aug. 13, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    I was called to serve under Pres. Gonzalez, but had visa problems and didn't get there until several months after he left. I heard he was a great man. I wish I could have known him. I agree with J-TX though, and heard about the many baptisms. Unfortunately, so many were left without fellowship after baptism, and I think some missionaries took advantage of the method. My first ward had over 600 members, but only 15 - 20 active. It made it difficult, but I wouldn't have wanted to serve anywhere else. The people were wonderful, the spirit strong in that area. They deserved to get a temple.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 13, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    Those of us who served in the Hermosillo Mission in the early 80's refer to those days in the 70's as the era of the CHACK - when they baptized so many, so fast that CHACK was the sound of their backs hitting the water.

    While I admire the zeal of the era, I also got to clean up a lot of mess left behind, as the Church grew in membership too quickly for the Leadership to adequately deal with it.

    Many fell away, having been baptized after feeling the Holy Ghost after one discussion or even a film strip. My companions and I spent many hours looking up people who were on the records and teaching the remainder of their families, or teaching the people who now lived at the last known address. Since door-to-door proselyting was illegal, this provided us a great way to contact people to teach. Who is to say that wssn't part of the plan?

    Ultimately thousands of lives have been blessed through the efforts of this man and his missionaries, and the Church would not have a temple now in Hermosillo and one being built in Tijuana had their efforts been less earnest.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:41 p.m.

    I has a suspicion that David Richards was probably the son of Seventy Franklin D. Richards, since Apostle Franklin D. Richards died before 1900.

    Juan Alvaradejo who is mentioned in this article served as president of a mission in Peru for a time. He was the mission president of the missionaries who were killed in Peru in 1990.

  • GPalmz Rexburg, ID
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:59 p.m.

    Josel of Hacienda Heights, we love you! You're our hero!

    Aug. 11, 2011 9:46 p.m.

    Thank you for an excellent article. It was especially meaningful to me, since I and my companion were the ones who first knocked at the Gonzales' home while serving as missionaries in Monterrey, Mexico in 1953. It was our priviledge to teach this fine couple the first lessons of the restored gospel. I am so thankful to the Lord for this experience. I have kept in touch with Sister Gonzalez and two years ago I had the joy of having her come and spend a few days in our home. I know that the work of this wonderful brother will continue to bless hundreds of members. Again, thank you for your article.

  • GPalmz Rexburg, ID
    Aug. 11, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    I was privileged to serve with the Gonzalezes as well. Thanks for this wonderful, appropriate tribute. You've reminded me of "days never to be forgotten." Certainly there wasn't space in the article--but just a word on the equally remarkable Sister Gudelia Gonzalez. Those of us who know her have remarked that she could easily have run a corporation or country. She's a bright, faithful, remarkable woman in every way Guillermo's equal. I've visited her in her humble home in Monterrey and still marvel at her bright mind and capacity. From the day we've met her through our experiences with her, we're much better for knowing her.

  • Keith Ellis WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    I served an LDS mission under President Gonzalez, almost 40 years ago and, to this day, i have never met two finer people on this earth than the President and his Wife Gudelia. I will never forget either one of them! I have 'bumped' into over the years, and completely randomly, dozens of LDS converts from Northern Mexico who honor still the name of Guillermo Gonzalez! I miss him a lot!

  • Reynaldo SLC, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    What an inspiring article about a remarkable person. Thanks for publishing this.

  • Mike B TUCSON, AZ
    Aug. 11, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    In the mid 1970's a L.D.S. group from Central America was traveling by bus to a temple excursion in Mesa AZ. A tanker truck crossed into the oncoming lane and hit the bus almost head-on. The accident happened near Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico about 60 miles south of Nogales, AZ. The wife of a Stake Presidet was critically injured. I and two other members of the Nogales Ward were asked to go to Magdalena to render aid. President and Sister Gonzalez also went from Hermosillo to help. A local official wouldn't allow us to evacuate the woman to a U.S. hospital until we paid him a bribe. When we started counting our money Sister Gonzalez reminded us that he who gives a bribe is just as corrupt as he who receives it. She asked that we pray for a way to resolve this and still uphold L.D.S values of honesty. After our prayer one of our group remembered that his boss knew the Attorney General of Sonora. He called his boss, his boss called the AG, the AG called the official and soon the woman was in a Tucson AZ hospital where she recovered,