From around the world
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Europe/Mediterranean Area: Youth visit ancient sites
ATHENS, GREECE - The youth of several LDS families recently enjoyed the first-ever youth conference of the Greece Athens Mission.
An LDS missionary couple serving in Pireaus Branch, Athens District, worked with Nicole Diakageorgakis, Mia Maid president assigned to spearhead a "Super Friday." All of the participants gathered at the beginning of the conference at the Olympic Stadium, a massive marble structure built for the 1896 Olympics where the first international Olympics was held.
The group saw such landmarks as Zeus's Temple, Hadrian's Arch, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma (Constitution) Square, and the Acropolis.
The tour concluded with a testimony meeting on Mars Hill, where the Apostle Paul explained to the superstitious Greeks about the true God. (See Acts 17), thus opening the Greek and adjoining Gentile nations to the gospel of Christ.
Europe North Area: 1836 chapel purchased
HEREFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND - A group of members, forming the Gadfield Elm Trust, recently purchased the building that was the first chapel in England owned by the Church.
The group has the goal of restoring the building to its former glory as a memorial to the thousands of Saints who left the area to help build Zion in America. They also purchased an adjoining acre of land to use for recreational purposes.
The chapel was built in 1836 by the United Brethren at Gadfield Elm in Herefordshire. A few years later, the majority of that congregation accepted the restored gospel, mainly due to the efforts of Elder Wilford Woodruff. In 1840, newly baptized John Benbow and Thomas Knighton gave the chapel to the Church.
Later the chapel was sold and the proceeds used to assist the poorer Saints on their way to America. Since then the building has been used for a variety of purposes and in recent years as a cowshed.
For years local Church members dreamed of purchasing and restoring the building. Now, their dream may be fulfilled.
Those who may have information that would assist the restoration project may contact John Ashmead, 72 Fernhill Road, Olton, Solihull, West Midlands B92 7RU, England.
South America North Area: Business forum supported
CHOSICA, PERU - At a public forum held to help support small businesses and micro-businesses in this city, Church representatives explained the Church employment system. They participated along with about 200 others, including the former Peru minister of the economy, owners of small and micro-businesses, government representatives, professional organization representatives, local merchants and the general public.
Congressman Jorge Figeroa attended the closing ceremony and expressed appreciation for the Church's participation in the forum.
Brazil Area: Singles donate blood
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - The Single Adult committee and members of the Single Adults program of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Stake recently held a successful blood donor program.
Some 60 LDS blood donors contributed at the blood center of the Pedro Ernesto University Hospital of the Rio de Janeiro University.
North America Central Area: Encyclopedias donated
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - The Colorado Springs Colorado Stake was among affiliates of an interfaith group that presented 17 one-volume encyclopedias to a youth correctional facility.
The idea for the project began as Vivian Olsen, stake director of public affairs, was serving as a volunteer English teacher at the Criminal Justice Center. A young woman inmate asked her the names of the planets in the solar system, and said she and her cellmate could only think of four. Sister Olsen could only add a couple more and suggested the young woman look it up in the encyclopedia.
Learning there were no reference books in the cellblocks, Sister Olsen received permission to donate encyclopedias. The project began in the stake and came to fruition with contributions from a community group called Westside Cares and affiliates of the Pikes Peak Interfaith Council. Sister Olsen is on the steering committee of the council and the board of Westside Cares.
North America Northwest Area: Wins foodbank promotion
JUNEAU, ALASKA - Members of the Juneau (Alaska) 1st Branch recently won the "People's Choice" award at a local shopping mall's foodbank promotion.
Mall officials invited local groups to construct sculptures using cans of food that later were to be donated to the local foodbank. Branch members wrapped white paper around more than 400 cans of food. These cans were then used to build a 3-by-7-foot replica of the San Diego Temple.
During a mall exhibit where promotion entries were shown, branch members displayed the temple replica and a photo of the real temple. Missionaries answered questions and talked with those passing by.
North America Southeast Area: LDS `hams' licensed
PHILADELPHIA, MISS. - The Philadelphia Branch of the Jackson Mississippi Stake has 19 amateur radio operators among its members. Eighteen of these "hams" have obtained their licenses within the last year with the encouragement of their branch president, Larry Muse.
The branch can now provide emergency communication for its members in all locations within its four-county boundaries, even if regular commercial communications are not available. The branch also can maintain emergency communication with the stake center, which is located 100 miles away.
The "hams" are a cross-section of the branch, ranging in age from 12 to 70.
North America West Area: Flood relief provided
SANTA ROSA, CALIF. - Flooding in northern California, caused by rain-swollen rivers during the second week of January, led to the evacuation of several families in the communities of Sebastapol, Guernville and Chico. Other families were evacuated in the Roseville and Antelope stakes in the Sacramento area. However, according to Eldon D. Speed, regional representative of the Santa Rosa Region, and Frank V. Trythall, regional representative of the Fair Oaks and Roseville regions, local units were able to take care of matters without calling upon the Church for help.
Among stakes where members responded to assist are the Anderson, Eureka and Chico stakes, said Nina Simmons of the Chico public affairs council.
She said public preparedness seminars sponsored earlier by the stakes had helped prepare the members for the emergency.
"The stakes were pretty well on top of the situation," she said. "In the Chico 4th Ward, several families needed help in sandbagging. Leaders called for 15 people and 86 members responded."
Members also responded when relief agencies asked for blankets. Although the Chico stake had completed a blanket drive during the Christmas season, members rounded up two pickup loads, she said.
Readers from around the world are invited to submit news items and photos for this feature on Church events worldwide. Submissions should include a telephone number of someone who can be contacted for additional information. Items should be mailed to Church News, "From Around the World," P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110. Fax No. (801) 237-2121.