A matchmaking friend set Joaquin Esteban Costa on the path that led to his conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ, a temple marriage, and leadership in the Church.
Joaquin Costa was born on March 8, 1965, to Eduardo J. Costa and Graciela M. Fassi. As a university student in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a friend, Alin Spannaus, now an Area Seventy, introduced him to Renée Varela. A second-generation Latter-day Saint, Renée hesitated before accepting a date with the 21-year-old, who was not a member of the Church. After three dates she decided she “liked him too much” and felt they shouldn’t date anymore. At the end of the school year, he returned to his birthplace, Entre Rios, Argentina.
Renée accepted a call to serve in the Chile Osorno Mission. After she returned home, Brother Spannaus arranged for her and Joaquin to attend the same party, at which Joaquin asked her for a date. “I prayed and decided to give him a chance,” Sister Costa says.
Soon, Joaquin was learning about the Church. As he studied with the missionaries, Renée asked him to pray and read the Book of Mormon from beginning to end.
“He didn’t make it to the end before he received a strong testimony,” Sister Costa says. “He didn’t get baptized just to please me. We dated one more year and then married in the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple in 1989.”
Elder Costa received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1987 from the University of Buenos Aires. As a young couple they moved to Provo, Utah, USA, where he received a master of business administration degree in 1994 from Brigham Young University. They and their growing family, which includes four children, lived in Chicago, Illinois, USA, as he worked for a multinational investment banking and financial services corporation. His banking career took his family back to Argentina for a few years and then to the Czech Republic and to the Sultanate of Oman. For the past two years, he and his family have lived in Lima, Peru, where he has been working with a Danish investment firm focused on microfinance.