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Marcos A. Aidukaitis
In an interview with the Church News, Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis, of the First Quorum of the Seventy, credited his father's example, as a pioneer of the Church in Brazil, as the bulwark against which his own testimony grew. He spoke of a time in the 1940's when Brazil had fewer than 300 members and not a single chapel in a country nearly the size of the United States. Adequate translation of Latter-day scripture in Portuguese would not be available for years and anything published about the Church was always negative.
However, as a native of Scotland, Antony Aidukaitis read the Book of Mormon in English, gained a testimony and joined the Church. "My father read the Book of Mormon and he believed it," said Elder Aidukaitis. "And even though his mother was against it, even though he had vices ... his wife wasn't interested ... he joined a Church that didn't exist (in Brazil). I love my father for having the courage to do that."
Eventually, some nine years later, Elder Aidukaitis' mother joined the Church and converted her entire side of the family. The family circle was completed by the baptism of Elder Aidukaitis' three siblings. One brother later served as a mission president and another brother as a stake president. Many years after his father's baptism, Elder Aidukaitis was able to locate the missionary who had baptized his father, an Elder McDonald. He learned that his father had been Elder McDonald's only baptism and that he had spent years considering his mission a failure. Of the lessons learned, Elder Aidukaitis commented, "You can count how many seeds you have in a fruit, but not how many fruits will come from a seed."
Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis was born Aug. 30 1959, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to Antony Aidukaitis, a native of Scotland living in Brazil, and his wife Maria Dittrich Aidukaitis. His parents having joined the search some years earlier, young Marcos was raised in the light of the Gospel and was baptized at an early age. He recieved the Aaronic Priesthood as a youth snd prepared to go on a mission as a young adult. The call came and he served in the Brazil Sao Paulo South Mission.
Upon being released from his duties as a missionary, young Marcos determind to receive his education from a Church run University. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He also did post-graduate work at BYU, receiving a Master of Business Administration from the Marriott School of Management. Thus equipped, Marcos entered the business world, where he became general manager for Ogara-Hess, a world renowned company in the area of security, specializing in up-armoring vehicles from the protection of corporate and government officials working in dangerous areas of the world.
Marcos Aidukaitis had known Luisa Englert since childhood. However, she was not a member of the Church and they lost contact when he left to serve in the Brazil Sao Paulo South Mission and later to attend school at BYU. After two years in Provo, Utah, he returned briefly to Brazil where they met once again and began writing one another. After more than a year of correspondence, she joined the Church and they were soon married. A year later they were sealed in the Provo Utah Temple. Since then, her brother and a cousin have joined the Church along with their families.
The couple would have five children: Lucas; Paula; Camilla; Vivian; and Antony. Elder Aidukaitis credits the balance that Luisa brings into his life for his many accomplishments. "Really, I want to be a better person because she is with me. She has this effect on me. Because of her, I am never satisfied with the way I am because I always feel like I have to be better to match her. She is the one that keeps me straight."
Balance in life is important. Elder Aidukaitis said this was a lesson he was clearly taught by his oldest son when he was 7 years old.
One day young Lucas was asked in class to draw a picture of his family. He drew a lovely house, himself, his mother, his sister and even the dog. However, the teacher knew the boy had a father. When asked why he had not included his father in the picture, the child explained, "Oh, my father is working."
At the time, Elder Aidukaitis was an executive for Ogara-Hess and was constantly traveling. Additionally, as a stake president he had many other obligations.
"I made the decision that day that I would never have another kid draw the family without me," he said. "So I changed my habits. I changed my priorities — I even changed jobs because I started looking for different opportunities that wouldn't force me to be so absent from my family."
"We already did family home evening, read scriptures daily and had family prayer. But from that day on, we became much more diligent and that's a testimony to me because that makes a whole difference in a family."
Sister Aidukaitis said love has always been an important part of their home and her husband has been a great example to them, especially his love for the Savior. "I think that helps him serve — his love for the Savior and for what He's done for us."
In 2005, Elder and Sister Aidukaitis were called into full-time Church Service, returning to the mission field as President of the Brazil Brasilia Mission. As his three years as a Mission President drew to a close in 2008, the couple might have looked forward to returning home and some quiet rest from worrying about the young Elders. Such was not to be. On April 5, 2008, as the Church met in a Solemn Assembly to sustain a new prophet, Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis' name was called to be sustained as a new General Authority as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Of the call, Elder Aidukaitid remarked, "I recognize that I am an unprofitable servant...I know I can't do much. He will have to do things through me. But if I decided not to do it, then I would be ungrateful. Whatever He asks me to do, I'll do because after what He did for me, what else could I do?"