BETA

Seven-country conference

DOBOGOKO, Hungary — More than 130 young single adults from the former communist countries of Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Romania met for a joint conference here July 3-7.

The young single adults of the Budapest Hungary Stake hosted the event under the direction of Elder Gerold Roth, Area Seventy, and President Georg Hauck, counselor in the Budapest stake presidency, assisted by Elder Sam Roberts and Sister Terry Kay Roberts of the Budapest Outreach Center, a part of the institute of religion.

The program included firesides by Elder Roth and Elder Johann Wondra, Area Seventy and first counselor in the Europe Central Area presidency, as well as CES institute classes, and numerous activities that included a cruise on the Danube River and dances.

In his fireside address, Elder Wondra counseled the young single adults "to follow the counsel of the prophet by staying in your own countries and being the pioneers who will help build Zion within their countries."

Many young people are recent converts, some of them members for only a few months. Nearly all are first-generation members. Members from each country acquainted the group with the heritage of their countries through history, music, education and drama.

The conference helped weave together the lives of all involved. Many bonds of fellowship and love were formed. Peals of laughter filled the dining hall as Serbians and Croatians were taught the Hungarian language by their hosts.

Among those attending was Elvi Rwankuba who was baptized two months ago in Slovenia.

"I have never seen so many members of the Church in one place. Everyone was smiling, being enthusiastic and filled with joy. We had many great lessons. I could feel the Holy Spirit present. I was filled with peace and a desire to grow, to learn and to get closer to my Heavenly Father," she said.

For Silvije Kovacevic, the conference restored her faith in the love of God and human kindness. "It is hard to explain but it had a profound impact and influence to my soul. I was really touched and realized how much the Lord loves me."

During the closing testimony meeting a Serbian sister bore a powerful but simple testimony in Hungarian. As the young adults returned home they were buoyed by a renewed spirit and a greater strength to carry on the pioneering efforts of the gospel in their homelands.