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From around the world

South America South Area

Youth learn, then serve

CARRASCO, URUGUAY - A number of investigators have been baptized following recent youth missionary service in multiple cities of the Uruguay Montevideo Mission. The youth missionary work was held under the direction of mission Pres. Lynn G. Robbins.

Some 44 young men and young women were trained in missionary service and then assigned to work for a short time with full-time missionaries as they found, taught, and in some cases, baptized investigators.

One youth missionary, recent convert Marcelo Paez, commented, "At first I asked myself what I had gotten into. It was tough, but when I realized the satisfaction that comes in seeing people accept the gospel, I never wanted the experience to end."

According to Pres. Robbins: "Each young man and young woman spent time praying and studying the gospel to be able to work with diligence and teach with power. Everywhere they went, they touched the hearts of the people."

Elder Ryan Arnold, who participated in the service, said the youth "understood that as they serve others, they bring themselves to Christ."

North America Central Area

Harmonizing choirs

KANSAS CITY, MO. - A choir made up of six Kansas City area stakes joined the mass choir of the St. James Paseo United Methodist Church here in a recent benefit concert. The concert was held to help raise funds to rebuild the 125-year-old St. James Missionary Baptist Church, which was destroyed by arson.

At the conclusion of the benefit concert in which the choirs performed their respective favorites, members of both choirs spontaneously began to hug each other.

One of those who attended the concert was Clifford Bratton of the St. James Missionary Baptist Church. He commented, "What a beautiful sight. I have never seen anything like this in my life. That's the way it is supposed to be because we are all God's children. He loves us all."

Dr. Daniel Larson, director of the LDS choir, said, "We believe this was a great opportunity for our two choirs not only to help the congregation that lost their church, but also to cut across cultural and social boundaries in this city."

North America Northwest Area

Assembly line sewing

LAKE OSWEGO, ORE. - Relief Society sisters in the Lake Oswego (Ore.) Ward have donated some 70 hospital gowns for children in a Guatemalan hospital. The sisters became involved when a ward member, Shane Mangus, planned a medical internship at a hospital in Guatemala. His wife, Claire, is a former missionary to that country. The Mangus'es carried the hospital gowns and other donated medical supplies when they went to Guatemala.

To sew the gowns, the sisters set up an assembly line, cutting fabric, pinning it and sewing.

North America Southwest Area

1,500 attend conference

LAS VEGAS, NEV. - Covenant keeping, charity and literacy were among the topics discussed here recently by Relief Society Gen. Pres. Elaine L. Jack. Sister Jack spoke at a women's conference attended by some 1,500 women at the Las Vegas Nevada Lakes Stake Center.

Sister Jack emphasized that the strength of a nation is rooted in the home. She described the home as a "staging ground and fortress."

She also emphasized literacy efforts and encouraged Relief Society members to read more and to help teach those who can't read. "Literacy is as much a part of Relief Society as homemaking and visiting teaching," she said.

Also participating in the conference were Primary general board member Chris Wonnacott and Young Women general board member Laura T. Harmon.

North America Southeast Area

`Swifter, Higher, Stronger'

WILDWOOD, FLA.

Elder Robert L. Backman, emeritus General Authority, recently challenged 150 LDS Boy Scouts from four stakes in southern Florida to follow the Lord. The youth were attending Camp Lone Oak.

During the camp, Elder Backman spoke at a fireside on the Olympic theme, "Citius, Altius, Foritus" or "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." He told several inspirational stories of past Olympic performers and challenged all the youth to be swift to go about the work of the Lord, to aim higher in their life's goals, and to be stronger in their testimonies of Jesus Christ.

Elder Backman also spoke during sacrament meeting. He challenged the youth to become Eagle Scouts, earn the Duty to God Award, graduate from seminary and serve a mission. He then asked the youth who could do these things to stand. All the young men stood to accept this challenge.

Elder Backman also led scripture study with small groups of young men during the camp.

North America West Area

Vandalized cemetery improved

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - As the Church in this state celebrates the sesquicentennial of the arrival of the first members, a quiet contribution has been made by youth of the Sacramento North and Rancho Cordova stakes.

During the past years, the youth have held periodic clean-ups in the Old City Cemetery. This cemetery was established by John Sutter in 1849, and is the resting place for some 25,000 of California's pioneers, including its prominent founding fathers.

After vandals senselessly toppled and broke some 90 of the cemetery's old headstones, cemetery officials contacted members in the Sacramento North stake and asked for help documenting the damage.

Youth responded and made videotapes of the area, measured the headstones in seven principal sections of the cemetery, and provided this information to officials. The officials used the information to estimate the cost of restoration. Additional clean-up projects of this cemetery and others in the area by the youth are continuing.

Europe West Area

Former missionaries active

MADRID, SPAIN - A number of former missionaries, as well as two mission presidents, from the Spanish American Mission that existed from 1936-67 in the southwest part of the United States are currently serving in the Europe West Area. Among these are Elder Dean L. Larsen of the Seventy, area president and former president of the Spanish American Mission; Elder Lorin F. Jones, also a former mission president; Pres. Harry Vern Payne, serving in the Spain Las Palmas Mission; and Pres. Joseph Halvor Clegg of the Italy Milan Mission. Elder C. DeMont Judd Jr., a public affairs missionary in Spain, also served in the Spanish American Mission.

Europe North Area

Children join celebration

MACCLESFIELD, ENGLAND - Primary children from the Macclesfield Ward, Newcastle-under-Lyme Stake, recently joined a community celebration, commemorating the 200th anniversary of a non-denominational Sunday School that was started here. The Sunday School was part of the influential 18th century Sunday School movement in the British Isles.

During the celebration, the Primary children took part in a procession through town. Arriving at the town's historic Sunday School building, now a heritage center, the children sang "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam," and "I Am a Child of God."

Organizers of the event thanked the children for letting others know of their love for the Savior and their families through song, said Bishop Cedric Knipe.

Pacific Area

Family history presented

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve recently met with New Zealand Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. James Bolger, and presented the leader with gifts, including a compilation of the Bolger family history.

Another gift for the prime minister honoring his emphasis on family values and protection of freedom of religion in New Zealand was a framed copy of the First Presidency's Proclamation on the Family. A porcelain statuette, "In the Family Circle," by LDS sculptor Dennis Smith, was presented to Joan Bolger, the prime minister's wife.

"The visit with the prime minister was a most rewarding and pleasant encounter," said Elder Lindsay Dil, area authority who accompanied Elder Scott.

While in New Zealand, Elder Scott was interviewed by the New Zealand Herald, Coast-to-Coast Television, and national radio.