Around the world

North America Northeast Area

31 projects completed

COLUMBUS, OHIO - About 400 youth from the Columbus, Columbus North and Columbus East stakes in Ohio held a one-day "blitz," a service project in which they refurbished a 43-year-old 4-H camp in southern Ohio.

Conn Drake, the camp director, said the youth provided about $20,000 worth of labor. They painted several buildings, hung drywall and improved trails. They also refurbished a miniature golf course, and built 25 picnic tables, a picnic shelter, 10 park benches and a regulation-size baseball diamond.

"When the dust settled, they had completed more than 31 projects," said Brian Flammer, director of public affairs for the Columbus Ohio Stake.

One youth conference participant, Rachel Luce of Gahanna, Ohio, said: "I feel proud to have been a part of this youth conference. What we have created here is a lasting legacy."

North America Southeast Area

Costumes enhance classes

MEMPHIS, TENN. - More than 300 participants attended the first Genealogical Conference sponsored by the Memphis Tennessee North Stake Family History Center. The recent conference attracted people from Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

At the conference, 28 classes on regional research were offered. Some of the teachers added interest to their classes by dressing in period clothing of the areas and times of which they spoke.

North America West Area

Quilts given to homeless

WALNUT CREEK, CALIF. - More than 100 full-sized quilts have been completed and donated through the Relief Society to a Concord, Calif., non-profit agency that provides services and housing for homeless individuals.

Each of the quilts was made by Anna LaRue Matney, a 75-year-old great-grandmother and member of the Walnut Creek 1st Ward. The quilts are used at the shelter, then given to the homeless people to take with them when they leave the shelter.

Sister Matney said she spends about six to eight hours each day quilting or sewing, and donates all the material as well as the work. She uses heavyweight fabric and fills the quilts with mattress padding to be durable enough to last.

North America Northwest Area

Refuge facilities improved

SOLDOTNA, ALASKA - Facilities for a summer outdoor education program at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge have been improved, thanks to the efforts of 25 families from four wards who spent some 350 service hours in a renovation project.

According to park ranger Scott Slavik, the 25 families from the Kenai, Soldotna, Sterling and Homer wards built a new indoor classroom/dining building, an improved outhouse facility, and put new roofs on six sleeping cabins.

The wildlife refuge is used extensively by local school and church groups for overnight camping trips that emphasize nature appreciation and environmental education. Funds for the materials came from a federal Challenge grant that matches volunteer efforts to cover the costs of materials.

Africa Area

Music builds bridges

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - The Ad Musicum Choir, a musical group well-known throughout this country that is made up of 45 singers of various religious denominations, performed recently for a large and enthusiastic audience at a three-stake fireside here. The choir, under the baton of Willem Van Tonder, performed a wide range of classical numbers.

"The building of bridges across the barriers between religious communities brought much good as a result of the occasion," said Christine Duplessis, stake director of public affairs.

Asia Area

Christmas theme emphasized

TOKYO, JAPAN - In a nation where less than 1 percent of the population claims affiliation with Christianity, missionaries and members have teamed up to offer a Christmas program to the general public.

"The Reason for the Season" is the theme of a program being presented in meetinghouses and community centers for the public throughout the northern Tokyo area. The programs have been extensively advertised. In conjunction with this effort to spread the cheer of Christianity, members are sharing copies of the Book of Mormon with their friends and relatives during this season.

"In Tokyo, people are drawing closer to the Lord through this effort to foster community friendship and reverence for the Savior's birth as the Spirit reaches and touches lives," said Pres. Yukio Kumazawa of the Japan Tokyo North Mission.

Philippines/Micronesia Area

Devotional held at academy

ROXAS CITY, PHILIPPINES - An LDS devotional was recently held at the Elizalde Academy, thanks to the special permission of the principal, Mrs. Teresita Valencia. Most of those enrolled at the academy are fourth-year high school students.

Speaking at the the devotional were Roxas District Pres. Jonith Blancaver and Roxas Branch Pres. Johnny Dariagan. Chito Rollorazo, Panay Island CES coordinator, and local missionaries also offered remarks. They spoke about the atonement of Jesus Christ as the center of the Plan of Salvation.

Missionaries distributed some 230 copies of the Book of Mormon following the devotional.

Mrs. Valencia also approved the holding of daily seminary classes after school for LDS students.

Europe North Area

Boxes for Bosnia

LONDON, ENGLAND - "Boxes for Bosnia" was the theme of a service project recently completed by the young women of the Selsdon Ward, London Wandsworth Stake.

Following a lesson on good works - one of the Young Women values - the Mia Maids decided to put the principle to work. They decided to support a television appeal for items for a "survival pack" for Bosnian refugees. The young women collected items of personal hygiene and non-perishable food from ward members and others, including local merchants. After the items were collected, the young women sorted and packed the contributions into 45 boxes for shipment to Bosnia. The boxes were delivered as a courtesty by a local ambulance service. The personnel at the service were impressed by the size of the contribution collected by the seven young women.

"The young women and their leaders received a great sense of satisfaction for their efforts, and all were more aware of the plight of people in war-torn areas," said Denise Kearns, first counselor in the ward Young Women presidency.

South America North Area

Christmas boxes `token of love'

LA PAZ, BOLIVIA - Boxes of shoes and clothing from the United States have been received annually at the Achumani Ward, La Paz Bolivia Sopocachi Stake, said Janice Brennan, Primary president.

The gifts were sent from Sister Brennan's home ward, Centreville Ward, Fairfax Virginia Stake, under the direction of Bishop Dale Coots and Relief Society president Marilyn Heiner.

"At Christmas time we have received boxes of toys and Christmas stockings," said Sister Brennan. "We added candy, and a lovely holiday gift was given to many ward families and children in a local orphanage. They cherished this gift, a token of love to them from the United States.

"Many lives have been touched because of the simple, caring acts given by people who have been blessed with so much in so many ways," she said.

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