Two Latter-day Saint families emigrated from Germany to Argentina in about 1923. They began sharing their beliefs through local newspapers and wrote letters to the First Presidency requesting missionaries. Church Apostle Melvin J. Ballard was sent to Argentina in December 1925 and six people were baptized. The South American Mission was created. Elder Ballard later prophesied that "the work will go forth slowly just as the oak grows from an acorn...[But] the South American Mission will become a power in the Church."
Argentina initially was part of the Church's South America Mission. Then, in 1936, that mission was divided into the Brazilian and Argentine missions. Membership grew slowly for the first 20 years, in 1945 membership in Argentina was 800. The Argentine Mission was divided in 1962, and additional missions have been created since then. In 1998 there were ten missions in Argentina.
The first stake (diocese) in Argentina was organized in Buenos Aires in 1966 with Angel Abrea, now a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, as stake president. By 1978, membership had reached about 40,000 members. The Buenos Aires Argentina Temple was announced in 1980 and dedicated January 17, 1986.
Buenos Aires was designated area presidency headquarters of the South America South Area in 1984. Three new missions in 1990--Mendoza, Resistencia, and Trelew, and the Buenos Aires West Mission in 1992--reflect the continuing growth in Argentina.
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Director de Asuntos Públicos, Área Sur América Sur
1425 Buenos Aires, Argentina