From his mother, who joined the Church at age 16, Elder Valeri Vladimir Cordón Orellana received a foundation in the gospel that served him well when he moved 95 miles (150 km) away from his hometown of Zacapa, Guatemala, to attend high school in Guatemala City and study computer science.
“The most important thing I received from my mother was to be very reverent about all the sacred things of the Church,” recalls Elder Cordón, who is the son of Ovidio and Ema Orellana Cordón.
Elder Cordón was born on February 19, 1969, in Guatemala City, and spent his boyhood in Zacapa. His father went to Chicago, Illinois, in the United States to work. While there, he was influenced by Church members and received the message of the gospel from missionaries. The family was sealed in the Mesa Arizona Temple in 1972, when Valeri was three years old.
Elder Cordón says he grew to love the gospel as he heard his mother frequently singing Church hymns and songs such as “I Am a Child of God” and “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission.” Elder Cordón served in the El Salvador Mission from 1987 to 1989.
He married Glenda Zelmira Zea Diaz on March 25, 1995, in the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple. Sister Cordón had intended to serve a mission herself, but her plans changed when she met Valeri. Later she recognized him as the young man who had caught her eye when she saw his photo in a Church magazine years earlier. They have three daughters.
Elder Cordón received a bachelor’s degree from Mariano Galvez University in Guatemala in 2010 and a master of business administration degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012. He worked as an information systems director at a pharmaceutical company and since 2012 at Pepsico Foods Mexico, Central America and Caribbean.
At the time of his call, Elder Cordón was serving in the Fourth Quorum of the Seventy in the Central America Area. He served in the presidency of the Costa Rica San José East Mission from 1998 to 2000.