Shortly before accepting his full-time mission call, Elder Massimo De Feo learned key lessons of sacrifice and love from his father, Vittorio De Feo.
The De Feo family had few financial resources, and neither Vittorio nor his wife, Velia, were Church members. But the elder De Feo respected his son’s desire to share the gospel.
“My father asked me, ‘Do you really want to do this?’” remembers Elder De Feo. “I said, ‘Yes, with all my heart I want to serve the Lord.’”
Vittorio promised to do all he could to help cover the cost of his son’s two years of service in the Italy Rome Mission.
“I considered that money to be sacred—it was the fruit of great sacrifice from a man who did not believe in the Church,” says Elder De Feo. “So I served my mission with all my heart, might, mind, and strength because I loved the Lord and I loved my father.”
Gospel principles such as sacrifice, hard work, family, and service have helped define Elder De Feo.
Born in Taranto, Italy, on December 14, 1960, Massimo De Feo learned of the Church at the age of nine when two missionaries knocked on the door of his home. Massimo and his older brother, Alberto, were soon baptized.
The De Feo boys enjoyed the love and support of devoted branch leaders as they attended Primary and, later, Mutual. Massimo also made lifelong friends with other youth in the branch—including fellow convert Loredana Galeandro, whom he would marry after his mission. They were sealed on August 14, 1984, in the Bern Switzerland Temple. The De Feos have three children.
Prior to becoming a General Authority Seventy, Elder De Feo lived in Rome and worked more than 30 years for the U.S. State Department. He has served as a branch president, district president, stake president, and Area Seventy.