Meet the Pillars: Brother Leonard Lovalvo
Today, we're bringing you the first Meet the Pillars interview! What's Meet the Pillars?
A Little About Our Brother
Our dear Brother Leonard Lovalvo was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1936 and baptized in Modesto, California, in 1954 at the young age of 17. He was ordained into the ministry at age 21 and an evangelist at age 26. That is over 60 years as a minister of God! Son of Brother Joseph Lovalvo and Sister Virginia Randazzo, our brother grew up surrounded by the Gospel. Brother Leonard states, “I fell in love with The Church and the people of God and never turned back. God has been so good to me.”
What Kind of Missionary Work Have You Been Involved With?
As a young man and recently ordained minister, Brother Leonard traveled throughout different branches and missions in California alongside Brother Tony Picciuto. Guided by the Lord, both of our brothers built bridges for many young men and women to cross today. Our brother has not only been very active in supporting the Modesto Branch for several years, but, in the past, has served as Chairman of the IMOC, President of the California Region, and President of the Quorum of 70. He's done missionary work in Italy and has traveled throughout Mexico with his wife, Sister Grace, who has been a big support to him. Our brother continues to do the work of the Lord and is helping as NAOC consultant by educating younger brothers on the work of the church among the Seed of Joseph.
Advice for Young Missionaries
Brother Leonard implores all missionaries both young and old to “seek the Lord, ask Him what He wants you to do and how He wants you to be prepared. Ask and follow the Lord’s script because following our own script will cause us to fail. If we follow His direction and know His word by diligently studying it, only then will we be able to defend our position in the Gospel and the restoration.”
Advice for Young People
To all the young people in The Church, Brother Leonard’s advice to you is to “get involved"! Seek the Lord to the best of your ability, but get involved! Make your presence known in The Church. Get involved with brothers and sisters who are good mentors who can help you and lead you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Put yourself out there!”
How the Lord Brought Him Through Turbulent Times
“After a meeting in Mexico, I ingested an amoeba, which resulted in a bug in my intestines. I suffered for 10 years until my colon burst during a class I was teaching in the Modesto Branch. Following this incident, I had over two years of surgeries and medications. I could not understand why this was happening, I asked, “Lord, what did I do wrong?” I realized that we go through testing, and we have to prove our faith during those trials. Since then, God has restored me, and I am in better health than I was when I was in my forties! I can still travel some, and I want to continue working for the Lord.”
Any Other Thoughts to Share With the Saints?
“God has been so good to me. We always fail, but we have a God that restores us. If we fail, we get down on our knees and ask for forgiveness and move on. Do not stay in failure. Do not stay down. Get up and get moving. The love of God will sustain you.”
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.