Today I got the word that my good friend Arturo Loarca had passed away. He was in his 60s. It was way too soon for him to go. I haven’t seen him in about 6 months because of the pandemic. I wish that I would have at least video chatted with him during that time. I feel bad. I got caught up in my own world and forgot about others around me.
I can still remember the first time I met Arturo. It was almost 6 years ago when we moved to Guatemala. We were new in our congregation and he approached me introduced himself. He had a smile that would light up the world. That smile said a million things at the same time. It said “I love you”, “I appreciate you”, “I respect you”, and a million other things that I can’t even express in words.
Arturo was literally half my size and yet he was a giant. He had a capacity to love like I have never seen before. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He simply saw the good in people. One of the fondest memories I have with him was when he said he liked Root Beer Floats so one day I bought some ice cream and Root Beer and brought it to him. His eyes lit up and I think that he had four of them if I am not mistaken. There was a child-like innocence about him that I loved.
I love that man dearly. It was no surprise that after our stake was split and reorganized that he was called as the patriarch. I told him when he was called that he had been carrying the spirit of a patriarch long before his call. I’ll remember him throughout my life as a person that not only did I admire, but as a person I strive to be like. I love you Arturo. I look forward to meeting again on the other side.