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Life History of Cesar A. Morales

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I am Cesar Augusto Alvarez Morales, I was born of goodly parents the 21st of April, 1960, in Guatemala City, my life has been truly marvelous and blessed, I have been very fortunate in my travels during this wonderful voyage on which we all find ourselves, the time has passed so quickly, that as I contemplate all that has happened it is like a dream, I have been given a gift from a loving Heavenly Father in two dear parents.

My father, Eduardo Escobar Morales (born in the city of Mazatenango, Guatemala on the 12th of October, 1927) and my dear mother Rosa Alvarez Reyes Alvarez (born in the capital Guatemala City on the 6th of January, 1936) have been a living example in my life and I have the good fortune that they are still living and by my side.

In this lifetime, I have had experiences that have helped me to respect and honor life itself, my life and my heart have been opened to valuing and highly appreciating the family, work, and the constant necessity to have a close and firm relationship with the Lord to be able to live a life rich in honor and blessings.

I was born in an incredibly humble home, beneath extreme conditions of poverty, and I have been able to witness with my own eyes how fortunate and blessed of the Lord we have been by being provided with the necessary means to overcom each one of our most difficult tests, giving us the strength, health, gifts, talents, abilities, and work, with which we have been able to overcome each adversity, we recognize how much the Lord has blessed us in this time, and to be able to always have enough to live a frugal life.

I remember the most anticipated and important day of my life, from which would come a multitude of experiences, accomplishments, and successes; it was a beautiful Sabbath afternoon, April 21st, 1968, I was baptized by my father, I remember that it was a family-filled meeting along with some very close friends of the family, I could feel in every fiber of my being a sense of happiness and much peace, dressed in white at my father's side in that situation was really what I wanted most in life, I had vivid memories of the moment I witnessed my parents' baptism.

I remember that one of the hymns we sang in my baptism was #224 (in the red hymn books) called "There is sunshine in my soul today", how exciting was that memorable day, I felt a sensation that I had never before experienced, I was just barely 8 years old, however I can remember those covenants that I learned by heart and that I have never been able to forget, I felt something beyond this world, truthfully, I can testify that I felt that I was a child who had been born again, and In reality the Lord had pardoned my mistakes and that I had a new opportunity to make the effort to follow the example of the Savior in all things just as my dear, beloved parents had done.

Although I recognize that I have committed mistakes and I can consider myself excluded from the temptations I have had to face as a person during my life, I hae also had to experience the pain and shame of my errors, however I have also been able to feel the pure love of Christ in my soul and my heart, I have felt his warm and peaceful hands upon my shoulders as a healing balm, lifting me and encouraging me to continue forward and to not make mistakes.

It is really marvelous to recognize the transcendence and significance of the Atonement of the Savior, the impressive effects that it brings to each of our lives; I understand that it is not easy for us to have to accept and confront the difficult decision and painful process that is demanded by this renovation of our faults, however, the results that it brings, and the sensation of peace and joy are indescribable, when one pleads for the pardon of his faults by means of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, one can really feel how one's faith is developed and strengthened, one can sense how a loving Heavenly Father, desirous to extend and help with his healing hand to each of his children can leave such a comfortable feeling, leaving imprinted on the fibers of our being a genuine commitment to honor Him, serve Him and love Him all the days of our lives, committed to never fail him again.

Having reached a point of understanding the importance of complying with each of the Saving Ordinances that the Lord has established on the earth to bring us closer to Him is the most gratifying gift that I have been able to feel, to sense the promises of the blessings that is offered by each of these sacred ordinances and to be a participant in them is really encouraging, I testify of the miracle that is felt in the soul upon receiving the influence of His spirit when one takes part in one of those ordinances, it permits us in a less harsh way to follow the example of the life of the Savior in all things, with the solemn and sacred promise of returning to our celestial home, as long as we are worthy and we exert ourselves to comply with and obey the corresponding covenants.

REDEEMING ORDINANCES AND SPECIAL EVENTS
  1. I was baptized on April 21, 1968, by my father Eduardo Morales and confirmed a member of the Church by my bishop, Eduardo Mendoza.
  2. The Aaronic Priesthood was conferred upon me by my father (Eduardo Escobar Morales) and ordained a Deacon on April 23, 1972.
  3. I was ordained a Teacher by my father on April 21, 1974.
  4. I was ordained a Priest by my father on April 25, 1976.
  5. The Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred upon me by my Stake President (Mario Antonio Paniagua Lopez) and ordained an Elder on January 21, 1980.
  6. I received my patriarchal blessing on January 25, 1980 from Patriarch Udine Falabella before leaving on my mission, I was the second person to receive a blessing from him after having been recently called as a patriarch and I felt very grateful to the Lord for that great privilege and for what it represented in my life.
  7. I was set apart as a missionary by my stake president Mario Antonio Paniagua Lopez on January 27, 1982. I received my full-time mission call to the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Mission under the direction of my mission president, Richard Allred. My call was signed by the Prophet Spencer W. Kimball.
  8. I left for my mission on January 28, 1980, returning on Thursday, January 21, 1982. I started my mission in a Quiche language program in the region of Momostenango, Totonicapan, Quetzaltenango, and Solola.
  9. I was ordained a high priest on March 6, 1982, by stake president Jose Maria Galvez.
  10. I received my endowments on December 15, 1982 in the Mesa Arizona Temple, due to the fact that in that time there was no temple nearby and I waited until the year of my return from my mission to be able to obtain that great blessing.
  11. I was sealed to my dear wife on June 23, 1984 in the Salt Lake Temple by Brother Eduardo Balderas.
  12. I was ordained and set apart as bishop of the Utatlan Ward in the Utatlan Guatemala Stake by stake president Marvin Omar Juarez Estrada on April 15, 1990.
  13. .
  14. I was sealed to my parents on October 19, 1990 in the Guatemala City Temple.
  15. I was called as a counselor in the stake presidency on May 19, 1994 and set apart on May 21, 1995 by stake president Sam Galvez Mino.
  16. Three months later I was called as president of the Utatlan Guatemala Stake by Elder Joseph Muren (Area President of Central America and member of the 2nd Quorum of the 70 at that time) on October 15, 1995. I will be released as stake president on May 22, 2005.
Callings
  1. I was called as ward mission leader when I had recently returned from the mission in January 1982 and teacher of the Gospel Essentials class for new converts and future members.
  2. Member of the stake High Council March 1982.
  3. Later I was called as High Priests Group Leader in February 1983.
  4. First and Second Counselor in the Bishopric.
  5. Bishop on April 15, 1990.
  6. Later I was called as a counselor in the Stake Presidency on May 19, 1995 and set apart on May 21, 1995 by stake president Sam Galvez Mino.
  7. Three months later I was called as president of the Utatlan Guatemala Stake by Elder Joseph Muren (Area President of Central America and member of the 2nd Quorum of the 70 at that time) on October 15, 1995. I will be released as stake president on May 22, 2005.
Calling as a Mission President
  1. My wife and I were interviewed by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Wednesday, December 15th, 2004, about topics relating to our family, testimony worthiness, health, and willingness to serve in the Church.
  2. On Thursday, December 23rd, 2004 I received a phone call from Elder Thomas S.Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church to extend to me the calling of serving as a Mission President in the Spanish language.
  3. On January 5th, 2005 we received the confirmation of our call to serve as Mission President, which was signed by the First Presidency of the Church on December 29th, 2004, under the direction of our beloved prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley as president of the Church, Thomas S. Monson as his first counselor, and James E. Faust as his second counselor.
  4. On Thursday, February 17th we received our call to serve in the Guatemala Quetzaltenango Mission, which was singed on February 15th, 2005 by the First Presidency.
  5. I will be set apart in the month of June in the training that we will have in the MTC, Provo, Utah.
It was one of the greatest feelings that has happened in our lives, the same mission in which I had the privilege to serve 23 years ago. We accepted our calling with much joy and satisfaction, once again the Lord was giving us an answer to one of our most desired wishes, to return as a missionary couple once our children were no longer under our care, but the Lord in his wise purposes anticipated this and conceded us the desire to go and serve Him in such an honorable calling and to the place where we had always wanted to return to serve.

My Family

There is no greater blessing in my life than my family, I have a truly extraordinary and marvelous wife, faithful and dedicated, she possesses many gifts, talents, and abilities, we have enjoyed and shared together an indescribable time together full of accomplishments, where peace and happiness have prevailed in each moment of our lives, the adversities and tests that we have had to overcome together we have passed successfully with the help of the Lord, I love her with all the strength of my heart and she is the principal source of my inspiration and my existence, we truly live happily and we have brought forth four beautiful and marvelous children with whom the Lord has blessed us.

Our oldest son is named Cesar Alejandro Folgar Morales, who was born on April 19, 1985 in Guatemala City, currently he is serving a full-time mission in the El Salvador West Mission in Central America, he will have finished 8 months in the mission this March, he interrupted his studies in Civil Engineering at the university to go out and share the Gospel with others as one of his principal goals and dreams in his life, we feel highly pleased with the Lord because of him, because of his motivation and desire to serve his fellow beings, and to share the message of faith, repentance and salvation through the powerful message of the Restoration and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ; he has been a great example in the lives of his siblings and we desire all the best for him.

Later our daughter Cindy Michelle Folgar Morales was born, on April 24, 1987 in Guatemala City, she is about to enter the university this year and has been an adorable and dear daughter, she has a huge heart and her nobility has allowed her to meet and make friends easily, she has always exerted and concerned herself with defending the principles she professes, she is a virtuous woman and worthy to be called a daughter of God, she graduated from seminary and is very active and dynamic in Church activities.

Then our son Luis Eduardo Folgar Morales was born on July 1, 1988 in Guatemala City, he is a marvelous son who is very intelligent, obedient, and respectful, he is currently in high scholl, he has strong desires to serve a full-time mission, he participates in all the activities at Church, he attends and participates daily in seminary, he hopes to fulfill his dream of serving a mission at the end of 2006 after graduation.

Finally our daughter Stephany Carolina Folgar Morales was born on November 6, 1989 in Guatemala City, she is our youngest daughter who currently is in the 9th grade, she is always working on her Personal Progress in the Young Women's program, she likes to attend and participate in all the activities that the Church offers, she is currently in her second year of seminary, she trusts us very much and shares all of her activities with us, she is a charming and affectionate daughter who wants to continue preparing herself and has been respectful of her principles and values all the time.

In reality each of them has made our great happiness possible, there is no greater gift for us as parents than to have been granted these marvelous children, we love with with all the energy of our hearts and we would do anything to protect them, we feel the joy of knowing that we are on our way to reach our final goal of being eternally with our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ enjoying their company eternally at the side of our loved ones forever and ever.

Experiences from my mission

I remember that the day I arrived in Quetzaltenango City, after having been through a short training period in Mexico City in the building or chapel that is located behind the temple, that of course at that time was just at the beginning of what would be today the beautiful Mexico City Temple; the training period was one week and we were the first group in Central America that would participate in any kind of training before leaving for the mission field, I remember Brother Martinez as the one in charge of that first group, we enjoyed the pleasant company of Elder Richard G. Scott as one of our instructors; it really was an extraordinary and beautiful experience, we all left excited and desiring to keep up that spiritual relationship by which we had really been filled and touched.

We returned to Guatemala City, and a minibus with the assistants to the Mission President came to get us at the airport, to be transferred to the city of Quetzaltenango, after a few hours on the road and observing how some of my companions weren't going all the way to Xela, but rather they were being dropped off in the areas corresponding to the mission along the highway, we noticed that their new companions were expecting them and they were assigned to their first areas, in that moment we began to have a great number of thoughts and feelings with respect to the places that we each would be called to serve and with whom, in my case I didn't wind up in one of the towns along the highway, I had the fortune of going to the mission office where our mission president, Richard Allred, was expecting us and after a short interview, he assigned me to my first area (San Bartolo Aguas Calientes) and I was told that I was going to a Quiche language program, it was a shock to my mind, I said to yself, "Me, going to an area where I have to speak another dialect and relearn the discussions in another language...it was very difficult to contain my emotions in that moment, I only knew the promise I had made to the Lord and the commitment I had made before a Prophet that I would serve the Lord for two years and that that holy calling to represent the Lord as his ambassador had been extended to me, and that I must continue on with great courage and desire.

I carried with me very clearly the impression of the words and advice of my mission president and the mark that his spirit had left on each fiber of my being, I learned to love and respect him from that very moment on, even now he continues to be a special person in my life and someone worthy to praise and follow, I will be eternally grateful to him for his love, his support, his advice and the miracle that he brought to pass in my life, the success that he has allowed me to reach through having learned to listen to him and follow all of his advice.

In reality I can't forget what I lived during that lovely time in my life, having had the privilege and the opportunity to be a missionary and serve under his direction, I always try to associate what I do in my life with what I learned on my mission, even now thoughts and experiences come very clearly to me that have helped me and strengthen my faith, testimony, respect and reverence that we owe to this beautiful and glorious gospel, I learned that I could never comprehend the size of what the first vision would represent in my life and for all humanity.

I remember that I couldn't express my testimony of the magnificence of that occasion without getting emotional and feeling how real and true it was in every fiber of my being, that occurrence truly helped to transform my life, I was able to sense how the power of that message helped to change others and offer them new opportunities and a better life, I witnessed miracles in the changes made in the lives of the people who were willing to accept the commitment to honor, live and uphold each of the covenants that were associated with the message of the restoration, and that they felt the necessity to accept and participate in every ordinance that was required within this beautiful gospel.

I am so grateful for the privilege and opportunity to be able to once again witness those miracles before my very eyes, to once again bring to pass and make possible the transformation and true changes in the lives of the people through the gospel, by means of the missionaries who are the carriers of this beautiful message.

My wife, children and I feel very excited about and committed to this opportunity that the Lord has offered us to care for his children, the missionaries, and to be instruments in his hands to lift up and spiritually strengthen each of them, we are willing to offer our whole lives for each of them, to minister to them to make possible the growth of the kingdom of God on the earth.

We will testify of these important truths to the people with all the energy of our hearts, of a sacred book that clarifies any doubt regarding the divinity and fulness of this glorious restored gospel, of the glorious first vision and of the restored gospel on the earth through a prophet who sealed with his blood his testimoney that it is real and true.

I recognize that my biggest and most sacred responsibility will be to lift and edify the lives of each of the missionaries to follow the model and commitment to accept and obey the instructions that God has given us through his prophets in our day, to make them feel that if they are obedient and faithful to the Lord there will not be one righteous desire that he can't grant them, they themselves will be able to experience that these words will have within their own lives as they recognize what the Lord requires and expects from each of them.

My areas and companions
Areas From To Companions
San Bartolo Aguas Calientes, Choquí and Nimsituj January 1980 September 1980 Kevin Bishop, Hugo Zepeda
Santa Ana and Momostenango September 1980 November 1980 José Flores, Elder Jhonn
Nahualá November 1980 March 1981 William Tobar, Elder Robbins
Quetzaltenango 2nd Ward April 1981 May 1981 Elder Osorio, Elder Barahona
Panajachel June 1981 June 1981 Elder William
Sololá - Zone leader and branch president July 1981 January 1982 Elder Nevins (3 months), Elder Don Wallentine (4 months)
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