Area Authority Seventy in Argentina

“Area Authority Seventy in Argentina,” Ensign, Dec. 2000, 56

Area Authority Seventy in Argentina

His father passed away when Elder Jorge Luis del Castillo of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was 20 years old. The last words he heard his father say were, “Pay your tithing even if you have no food on your table.” These words have become the del Castillo family motto as they strive to be “true to the faith that their parents have cherished” (Hymns, no. 254).

Elder del Castillo’s parents joined the Church in 1959 when he was four years old. His early family life was centered around the gospel and Church activities. “When I was 15,” Elder del Castillo says, “I read the entire Book of Mormon and received an answer to prayer that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I have had many spiritual experiences since then, but when the storms of life come I always remember the experience I had when I was 15.”

Elder del Castillo’s parents also impressed upon him the value of education. They sacrificed much to make sure he finished high school and went to college. And after his father died, his mother and brothers all encouraged and supported him in going to college. He graduated with a degree in business administration from the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa.

The del Castillos own and manage a dry cleaning business and have met many people because of it. They display a copy of the Book of Mormon in the front of their store. Customers often request a copy, and “thanks to the book, many have joined the Church,” reports Elder del Castillo.

“The best decision I ever made was marrying my wife, Olinda,” says Elder del Castillo. After returning from his mission in northeastern Argentina, he met Olinda at a young adult activity. They were married in 1978 and sealed in the São Paulo Brazil Temple in 1980. The temple trip took 52 hours each way from Buenos Aires. “It was nothing compared to the spiritual experience of kneeling together at the altar and being united for time and all eternity. Every sacrifice we made to get to the temple has been rewarded by the Lord tenfold.”

Elder del Castillo has served as a branch president, a stake president twice, and a regional representative before his call as an Area Authority Seventy. His wife has been a Primary, Relief Society, and Young Women president. “We thoroughly enjoy serving in the Church. My son and I are home teachers together, and we always return home happy.

My wife and I attend the temple as often as possible. It helps us focus our lives on the things that really matter and teaches us to follow our Redeemer. Our family isn’t perfect, but we are trying to do our best despite the circumstances that life sometimes presents us. We’re happy trying to do what the Lord expects of us.”

Elder and Sister del Castillo have six children and enjoy family home evenings, good adventure movies, and family trips to the seashore. “We love good pizza,” Elder del Castillo says, “especially when prepared by Olinda at home.”

The del Castillo family, from left to right: Rosana, Mariela, Sister Olinda del Castillo, Mariana, Ruth, Elder Jorge del Castillo, Romina, and Jorge Rafael.