Patty spent her childhood in El Salvador. When she was seven years old, her father was killed after he supported the teachers’ union. Eventually, her mother decided to leave the country after she too was threatened during the Salvadoran Civil War.

Patty’s mother and siblings escaped into the United States. That first year she was in the U.S. missionaries knocked at her door. She found the missionaries’ teachings about the godhead compelling, as she had always been confused by trinitarian descriptions of the godhead. Her whole family was baptized.

Patty and her family returned to El Salvador ten years after coming to the United States, and there she experienced a very different sort of Mormon life. In El Salvador, the church was the gathering spot for the Latter-day Saint community. Members would gather at the church every day after school or work and talk and hang out with each other. She found being a Latter-day Saint much easier in El Salvador than in the U.S. where there isn’t the same kind of Latter-day Saint community. Now Patty is attending an English ward in California and is loving the experience, particularly the youth who are so spiritual.

Patty with mom

Patty Portillo with friends

Patty with friend