During the late 1960s, Oscar Hernan Aguayo U. and his wife Rita Cordara Aguayo, of Arequipa, Peru, first learned about the Church from relatives. Rita's uncle investigated the Church and her father became interested and was baptized. His conversion sharply divided the family. Her mother moved away from Arequipa to Lima. When Rita went to visit her mother, she was shocked to learn that her mother was meeting with the missionaries. Her mother was soon baptized and returned home. Rita Aquayo also felt the spirit of the missionaries' message.

After returning to Arequipa, Rita invited the missionaries to their home. She recalled: "At first, my husband came into the house only after the lessons were over." After hearing all of the discussions, her father visited and talked to Oscar Aguayo about the Word of Wisdom. "That same night my husband said to me, 'This is the last cigarette I will smoke in my life.' I said, `Very good!,' but I didn't believe him." He was true to his word but did not respond to requests for baptism.

The missionaries visited their home for more than two years. One day, a departing missionary stopped by and dropped off a gift to Oscar -- a bible with an inscription inside. When Oscar Aguayo returned home, he hurried off with his family to the airport in an attempt to see this kind missionary off to the States. The young missionary had already left. Rita Aguayo was surprized to hear Oscar ask, "What do you think about being baptized next week?"

The Aguayos were baptized September 10, 1971, by Rita's father. Brother Aguayo was called into the Sunday School. He remembers being terrified when giving a two and a half minute talk. Sister Aguayo was called as the Primary president. There was no primary in the ward at the time, so she had to organize one. Soon, Brother Aguayo was called to serve in the bishopric. Just five years after his baptism, he was called to be the first president of the Lima Peru Central Stake. He later served as a regional representative.

In 1984, he became the CES coordinator for Peru. He said, "We have about a thousand teachers, all voluntary. These classes help young people prepare for missions. Between 60 and 70 percent of the youth in CES go on missions."

In 1988 Brother Aguayo was called to serve as the president of the Peru Trujillo Mission. After his missionary service in 1991, he was called again as a regional representative over the Lima Peru East Region. Today, Brother and Sister Aguayo are members of the Musa Ward, Lima Peru La Molina Stake. Brother Aguayo is currently serving as an Area Authority Seventy.

(From "Quarter of century of service, devotion to Church in Peru.", Church News, May 24, 1997).