Area Authority in Peru

    “Area Authority in Peru,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 66

    Area Authority in Peru

    “Everything I do or don’t do affects my family relationship enormously,” says Elder Willy F. Zuzunaga Cavero, a member of the fourth Quorum of the Seventy from Lima, Peru. “Living the gospel is the key to being happy. I know this because I am experiencing it.”

    Elder Zuzunaga, whose parents died when he was a boy, was introduced to the Church at age 23, when a friend invited him to church. “Never has a meeting impressed me as much as that sacrament meeting. I was in church for five hours and didn’t want it to end. I could feel the warmth and love of the members, and I felt important. The Spirit testified to me that the Church was true, but I didn’t understand.”

    When the missionaries came to visit he resisted their teachings at first, but they urged him to pray. “After they left I went to my room and pleaded with the Lord: ‘I just want to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet.’” The Holy Ghost then spoke powerfully to Elder Zuzunaga’s mind and heart, replacing all doubt with peace. “As I remember this experience now, I feel as if it had happened yesterday.”

    Soon after baptism the bishop encouraged him to think of serving a full-time mission. Nearly a year later Brother Zuzunaga invited his relatives to hear him speak in sacrament meeting prior to his departure to a mission. Thirty of them came and were all later baptized.

    Since 1980 Elder Zuzunaga has been a branch, stake, and mission president. He was a regional representative when called as an Area Authority Seventy in 1998.

    “When I was a boy,” Elder Zuzunaga says, “the death of my parents affected me deeply. I missed them and prayed to God for peace and consolation. Sometimes I thought He had forgotten me. I’m grateful to the Lord for sending His missionaries. I know He has not forgotten me.”

    Elder Zuzunaga, his wife, Hilda, and their four children, Willy David, Danella, Talia, and Angie.