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.”
Extraordinary Service in Nigeria
Since her conversion in 1984, Helen Madumere of the Osisioma Ward, Aba Nigeria Stake, has served as president of a ward, district, and stake Relief Society. “So much good has come to the women of Africa with the gospel,” she says. “The simplicity of worship, the ordinances, the new understanding it brings to our marriage relationships—these are giving us new life.”
The Madumeres have eight children, ranging in age from 5 to 22. The family members enjoy the way their lives have changed and the feelings of unity they share. “To learn that I am God’s daughter and that He allows my husband and me to be partners with Him in bringing His spirit children into mortality,” says Sister Madumere, “is a truth that has brought a great change in my life.”
In addition to her Relief Society duties, Sister Madumere teaches high school and early-morning seminary. As stake Relief Society president, Helen has often traveled by public transit to meet with the sisters throughout her stake.
“More than two-thirds of the thousand women in my stake are peasant farmers, traders, and laborers,” explains Sister Madumere. “I am committed to educating and helping them gain more self-reliance. What a feeling it gives,” she says with a broad smile, “to be part of the kingdom of God that unites people around the world.”
Missionary Music Man of Hamburg
When Martin Klier first met the missionaries 33 years ago, he was a shy, young piano student. They invited him to join a piano duet and perform at a Church meeting. Now he is one of the Hamburg Germany Stake’s finest missionary treasures.
Brother Klier teaches piano in the Hamburg City School System. About 10 years ago he decided to use his network of musical acquaintances in Germany and the United States to organize regular concerts at the Hamburg Stake Center. The concert series, “Konzerte im Pfahlhaus,” has been successful for introducing people to the Church. He has sponsored over 40 musical programs that have attracted almost 9,000 concert-goers, nearly 5,000 of whom have been nonmembers.
The traditions and concerts created by Brother Klier have been patterned after the Temple Square Concert Series at the Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Brother Klier’s programming has brought together a piano quartet and other musicians from the United States, winners and laureates of international competitions, and local solo artists and orchestras. Receptions, after-concert parties, and other activities have resulted in much goodwill as well as many missionary referrals.—, Edgemont 21st Ward, Provo Utah Edgemont South Stake
In the Spotlight
Jesika Henderson, St. George College Second Ward, St. George Utah College First Stake, won first place at the National Junior Miss Pageant in Mobile, Alabama.
Carlos Cortes, Chicago First Ward, Wilmette Illinois Stake, has been chosen as one of four chaplains of the Chicago Police Department.
Four years ago, Karen Loucks of the Ponderosa Ward, Parker Colorado Stake, started Project Linus, an organization that provides security blankets to seriously ill or traumatized children. Sister Loucks and that organization were recently featured on a national television show.
The United States Senate confirmed the appointment of two LDS Church members as federal judges in Nevada. Roger L. Hunt of the Horizon Ridge Ward, Las Vegas Nevada Warm Springs Stake, is a four-generation Nevadan and has been serving as a U.S. magistrate judge. Kent J. Dawson of the Desert Rose Ward, Henderson Nevada Black Mountain Stake, has been serving on the Henderson Justice Court.
Businessman Ron Jones of the Greensboro Second Ward, Greensboro North Carolina Stake, was honored by the Anti-Defamation League for his leadership in helping his employees become aware of and resist hatred, bigotry, and prejudice.
Gary T. Grigg of the Bonita Springs Ward, Fort Myers Florida Stake, recently became one of fewer than 20 people in the world designated as a Master Greens-keeper by the British and International Golf Greenskeepers Association. He has served as president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.