“Elder Jorge F. Zeballos,” Liahona, May 2008, 140
Just 12 years after Elder Jorge Fernando Zeballos was born on July 19, 1955, the first Latter-day Saint missionaries came to his hometown of Ovalle, Chile, in 1967.
The four North Americans walking around town piqued his curiosity, as did a favorable interview with them in the local newspaper. When the missionaries began playing in a local basketball league, Jorge, who loved basketball, followed their games with interest. Once he managed to slip behind the officials’ table to catch a glimpse of their team roster. Surprisingly, all were named “Elder.”
When a classmate told young Jorge that he and his family had joined the missionaries’ church, Jorge asked if he could come too. He attended meetings faithfully for seven months before the missionaries discovered that Jorge had not been taught or baptized. With the permission of his parents, Alberto Zeballos and Ines Zeballos, that was soon remedied.
Later, while at Santa Maria University in Valparaiso, Jorge met Carmen Gloria Valenzuela. “When I saw her for the first time, I knew I was going to marry her,” he recalls. “It was very strange, because I already had my mission call, and she was not a member.” Within a few weeks she was taking the missionary discussions, and he baptized her before leaving to serve in the Chile Concepción Mission.
Jorge and Carmen corresponded during his mission, began a courtship afterward, and were married on June 26, 1982, in the São Paulo Brazil Temple. They are the parents of five children.
Elder Zeballos has a degree in civil engineering from Santa Maria University and a master of business administration degree from Brigham Young University. Prior to his call as president of the Chile Concepción South Mission in 2005, he was a manager of corporate affairs for a mining company in Chile. Elder Zeballos, newly called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, has also served as a bishop, stake president, regional representative, and Area Seventy.