So, I want to talk today about a vision that I've had and shared with Elder Cardenas, the other zone leader. President has talked to us about opening other areas in Puerto Barrios, and we had thought about a second Puerto Barrios area, and a second area in Morales, but as we were working this week, we thought about something very different. My area (Puerto Barrios) is VERY big. It includes all of what is Puerto Barrios, and also another city called Entre Rios close by. In Entre Rios, there is no established church organization. There are about 35 members there, of the which, 14-20 are active. Of the three families that make up this active member population, 2 of them have been sealed together in the temple.
Local Church establishments work like this:
Ward: the largest of the church establishments, which normally consists of in between 100-200 active members (this is based off of Guatemala figures, I don't know how it is in the rest of the world). The members here are usually very strong and faithful in the Gospel, and have a local bishop and stake president who preside over them and hold the keys of the priesthood for those areas.
Branch: The second-largest of the establishments, in between 50-150 people. These can be found in stakes or in districts alike, but there aren't usually as many priesthood holders or leaders in these.
Group: An even smaller establishment of members, that consists of in between 30-60 people.
Unidad (I don’t know how to say this in English): the smallest congregation of members that can exist, in between 10-30 people.
The idea that I have had is to establish an unidad in Entre Rios and get new missionaries there. Why? Because:
1) Reactivation work will move forward VERY quickly if there is a place where the Saints can meet together. In a period of about 3 months, Entre Rios has the potential (just among inactive members) to become a group.
2) Baptisms will happen VERY quickly. There are many people there who "are kept from the knowledge of the truth, simply because they do not know where to find it." If you go and walk around there, people will ask you: "Who are you guys" Jehovah's Witnesses?" and when you explain that you're a Mormon, they stare at you, kind of confused, and say, "What's that?" People here have NEVER heard the message before.
I want those people to have what i have. I want them to have the Gospel. There's nothing that will bring them more joy and more hope than this message. There's nothing that will bring them more joy than the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, and how they can have eternal life.
Now, the idea may seem a little far-off, and difficult to achieve, but President has talked with the leaders of Puerto Barrios about it before. I feel that this is a good direction to take. If not, well, President receives revelation for the mission, and the time has not come for those people. I'll keep you guys updated!
Elder Jeffrey Reed