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A promise fulfilled

Home completed in Mexico for family of late missionary

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When Arturo Morales walks through the rooms of Maria Antonia Galindo's new home in Pachuca, Mexico, perhaps he's reminded of a bittersweet memory the soft-spoken woman shared with him as the house was being constructed.

Brother Morales learned from Sister Galindo of a time, years earlier, when she and her 6-month-old son, Jorge, did not have a home or even a room to call their own. Instead, the young mother and child lived under a bridge. Each morning, Sister Galindo would bundle up Baby Jorge and walk to her job. On one occasion, according to Brother Morales, she looked at her son and whispered, "One day, you are are going to build a house for me and we are going to live there together."

Now Sister Galindo's wish is fulfilled — in ways she could not have imagined.

Last May, the Church News shared the story of two Utah families who were helping to build a home in Pachuca for Maria Antonia Galindo and her three daughters. The Huhem and Morales families were anxious to assist the humble family after learning that Sister Galindo's firstborn son, Jorge Galindo Flores, had been killed in November while serving in the Mexico Oaxaca Mission.

Mitch Huhem had been Elder Flores' benefactor during the mission and was devastated to learn of the young elder's death. Eager to help Elder Flores' survivors, Brother Huhem contacted Arturo Morales, a close friend with LDS relatives living in Pachuca. Together, the two families decided to finish Elder Flores' pre-mission plans to build a suitable home for his mother and sisters.

After traveling to Pachuca in April to begin the building project (see May 6, 2006, Church News), the Huhem and Morales families returned to Mexico in late July to help with the final touches on the new Galindo home.

Their return trip to Pachuca to finish and dedicate the house "was 100 times better than the first," Brother Huhem said.

When the Utah families arrived, they found the building project to be entirely on schedule. Brother Huhem and Brother Morales had made arrangements with local contractors in Pachuca to finish the project in a timely manner. Almost daily, Brother Morales received updates on how the house was coming along. "We met each goal and deadline," he said.

All that was left to do when the Utahns arrived last month was some final painting and landscaping.

The project was fueled by the memory of Elder Flores and his devotion to missionary service. The young man had baptized his mother and two of his sisters before accepting his full-time call. Elder Flores' example continues to influence many, including several young men from Pachuca who are now serving, or preparing to serve, full-time missions. Others have been baptized.

"I am so amazed at the miracles that have happened," said Brother Huhem, adding he is grateful his children have witnessed the blessings that come through service.

Now Sister Galindo and her daughters have a secure home to call their own. The family matriarch also plies her trade as a seamstress in a workshop built adjacent to the home as part of the project.

Prior to the dedication of the new home, a plaque was placed outside that references one of Elder Flores' favorite missionary scriptures, 3 Nephi 5:13: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."

E-mail to: jswensen@desnews.com