LDS leaders visit earthquake survivors in Mexico

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Elder Andersen poses for a photo with the Rojas family in Jojutla, Mexico. The Rojas family is among many of those still struggling with devastation caused by the 7.1 earthquake that struck the area in September. (Mormon Newsroom)

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints visited earthquake survivors in the town of Jojulta, Mexico Feb 21. Elder Andersen was joined by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy.

On Sept. 19, 2017, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the small Mexican town destroying countless homes. Now five months later, members in the community are still trying to recover. Elder Andersen and other church leaders came to offer words of comfort and support to the suffering community.

“Our heart just feels so moved by the many difficulties that people in this community have had — not just members of the Church, but all the people — who because of something they could not control, nothing they could help, that suddenly their houses fell down and they were without the few things they had in life,” Elder Andersen said.

Local church and community leaders have worked hard to clean up and repair damaged neighborhoods. The LDS church has played an important role in those clean up efforts, and many local leaders thanked Elder Andersen for the aid the church has provided.

Local Bishop Armando Rojas Guzmán is one of those community leaders working to rebuild and repair the destroyed homes. As a bishop, Guzmán has been tending to the spiritual and temporal needs of his congregation and other members of the community, encouraging them with messages of hope and perseverence.

“Here we are rebuilding this house in part with government funds but mostly with our own labor. We have to cooperate and help with our own labor and we will go on … We’ll be able to finish this house,” Guzmán said.

Elder Andersen was able to communicate with community members in Spanish and listened to their stories of hardship and hope.

Maria del Pilar Camacho Martinez was forced to relocate as a result of the destruction from the earthquake but returned to the area when she learned of Elder Andersen’s visit.

“I just want to thank God for sending [Elder Andersen] here,” Martinez said. “We needed so much help. In the name of all my neighbors, … sadly we had to leave our homes, and rent places or live with other family members. I just want to thank you for all the help that you are providing us with. We are truly grateful.”

Watch the full Mormon Newsroom brief on Elder Andersen’s visit here:

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