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From around the world

Asia Area: LDS entertain refugees

BANGKOK, THAILAND - LDS missionaries sang Primary and popular songs to more than 5,000 Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees at a recent program at Phanat Nikhom Refugee Camp in Thailand. The Welfare Services missionaries from the Thailand Bangkok Mission teach English at a small, Church-sponsored school at the camp to refugees waiting to be resettled in English-speaking countries. "Many of the 5,000 sang along with songs like `You Are My Sunshine,' but whether they like our singing or not, at least they know that the Church is here and we want to help all people," said Sister Julie Taylor, a missionary.

Pacific Area: Samoan school given computers

MAPUSAGA, AMERICAN SAMOA - Ten Apple II computers were donated to the Church high school in Mapusaga by the computer department of BYU-Hawaii, under the direction of Dr. Ernest Carey, department director. Dr. Carey also spent a week here teaching the teachers and students to use the computers in numerous educational applications. He said the students are accelerating their education as they learn to use the educational software.

South America North Area: clothing `received with tears'

LIMA, PERU - A missionary couple's project has "helped improve the dignity of baptismal services" in the Peru Lima South Mission, said Pres. Glen L. Slight. Elder and Sister Preston Bell of Fullerton, Calif., recently coordinated the making of more than 200 sets of baptismal clothing, which were distributed to wards and branches throughout the mission. Previously, baptismal candidates were asked to provide their own clothing. "Local leaders received this clothing gratefully, many with tears in their eyes," said Pres. Slight.

Brazil Area: Question improves contacting

CAMPINAS, BRAZIL - Missionaries in the Brazil Campinas Mission are following President Ezra Taft Benson's advice to use the Book of Mormon in their contacting. Missionaries ask if people would be interested in reading a companion book to the Bible that clearly explains the mission and atonement of the Savior. The question has screened those who are interested and has increased the number of people who accept the discussions, said mission Pres. Sheldon R. Murphy. "The question better penetrates the hearts of serious people, confirms our representation as ministers of Jesus Christ, attracts families and, ideally, prepares people for first discussions," he said.

South America South Area: Service with a song

PUNTA ARENAS, CHILE - Choirs in the Punta Arenas Chile Stake earned respect for the Church recently when they performed for a group of senior citizens at a home for the elderly. Later, a combined stake choir was invited to sing at a special program in the Catholic cathedral. Before the choir began, a violin solo was performed by Oscar Varas, a young stake member. The music was well-received by those who attended the program.

United Kingdom/Ireland/Africa Area: 130 attend youth conference

LANCASTER, ENGLAND - The largest-ever youth conference in the Preston England Stake was held May 20-22 as 130 young men and young women gathered here. Workshops - complete with personal videotapings of the youths - reflected the theme of "Hollywood Convention."

On Saturday afternoon, conference participants were divided into groups and mowed lawns, visited nursing home residents and hospital patients, picked up litter, and compiled information about Lancaster. On Sunday, the young people enjoyed videotaped messages from Young Women Gen. Pres. Ardeth G. Kapp and her second counselor, Elaine L. Jack; and Gwen Goaslind, wife of Elder Jack H. Goaslind of the First Quorum of the Seventy and president of the United Kingdom/Ireland/Africa Area.

Europe Area: Sisters join in civic effort

SYRACUSE, ITALY - Relief Society sisters joined efforts of women from other churches and cultural and civic organizations to open a home for underprivileged and unwed mothers in Syracuse, Italy. The Latter-day Saint women hoped their efforts reflect the Relief Society's motto, "Charity Never Faileth."

Sister Giovana Marino, Italy Catania Mission public communications director who took part in the project, said, "The participation of the Relief Society in this work of moral and temporal assistance in the lives of many young women has provided the Relief Society and the Church a position of respect in Syracuse and beyond." Six other LDS women participated in the project. They were Lucia Perricone, Angela Siniscalchi, Lucia Betto, Teresa Siniscalchi, Maria Campisi, and Tania Turisi.

North America Northeast Area: Stake unites to make quilts

FAIRMONT, W.VA. - Relief Society, Primary, Young Women and priesthood groups in the Fairmont West Virginia Stake united to make and donate nearly 20 quilts to the just-completed Ronald McDonald House in the area. Judith Jones, stake Relief Society president, coordinated the project. The quilts were presented to non-LDS representatives of the organization during a recent stake conference, said Ed Fortney, stake public communications director. Ronald McDonald houses serve families with children hospitalized for extended periods of time.

North America Southeast Area: Youths increase in spirituality

COCOA, FLA. - A 12-week program to spiritually strengthen youths ended with a youth conference. During the program, youths in the Cocoa Florida Stake concentrated on Book of Mormon study, prayer and worthiness. The course concluded with skits by the youths on Book of Mormon chapters, a service project, a dance, and a hayride to the Church's nearby Deseret Ranch. The activities were well-attended, and many of the youths said their testimonies were strengthened during the program, reported Priscilla Tolman, acting stake public communications director.

North America Southwest Area: Symposium attracts crowd

WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS - The first annual Red River Book of Mormon Symposium was held here May 6 and drew a capacity crowd. At the symposium, keynote speaker was LDS author Brenton Yorgason, who discussed little-known evidences of the Book of Mormon. The symposium was sponsored by the Wichita Falls wards of the Lawton Oklahoma Stake to give members an opportunity to bring non-member friends to a more academic exposure to the Book of Mormon, said stake leaders. Yorgason was interviewed on television the morning after the symposium.

North America West Area: 700 at woman's seminar

LAIE, HAWAII - More than 700 people took part in a woman's conference here May 12-14. Diane M.D. Wade, wife of Pres. Alton L. Wade of BYU-Hawaii campus, delivered the keynote address. Pres. Wade also spoke. The women attended some 50 workshops and enjoyed recreation, such as learning to hula dance or playing volleyball. Most of the workshops were spiritual in nature and followed the theme, "Line Upon Line." Other workshops offered self-improvement information.

Utah North Area: 12,500 attend dance festival

LOGAN, UTAH - More than 1,600 dancers from Cache Valley stakes performed folk, Western and ballroom dances for an audience of some 12,500 people at the Utah State University Spectrum recently. The program was under the direction of Jim and Sandra Bush. It was worth the 18 months of preparation "just to see how happy the kids were," said Bush.

Utah South Area: Benson scholarships awarded

PROVO, UTAH - Brigham Young University has awarded prestigious four-year Ezra Taft Benson Scolarships to 24 high school seniors from Mississippi to California. BYU's top scholarships, worth from $10,000 to $14,000 went to: Allison L. Budd, Santa Ana, Calif.; Meghan Ruth Busse, Bountiful, Utah; Cinda Ruth Callister, Jackson, Miss.; Cheryl L. Carpenter, Beaverton, Ore.; Eric Hyde Carter, Orem, Utah; Kent Hsien-chen Chou, Montville, N.J.; John Snyder Colton, Rockville, Md.; and Jill Marie Gould, Fountain Valley, Calif.

Also winning the scholarships are: Blake Edward Graham, Murray, Utah; Wendy Grow, Salt Lake City Utah; Mette Marie Ivie, Provo, Utah; Richard Ivie, Orem, Utah; Grant Jensen, Los Alamos, N.M.; Jodie Jorgenson, Orem, Utah; Heather Viola Linebarger, Provo, Utah; Brett Littke, Monroe, Utah; Rebecca L. May, Hastings, Neb.; Laura Pearson, Glendale, Calif.; David Byrum Petersen, Burley, Idaho; Matthew R. Reed, Bountiful, Utah; Jared Walker Stone, Modesto, Calif.; Eric Van Dyke, Kaysville, Utah; and Jeannie Young, San Marino, Calif.