From around the world

Europe/Mediterranean Area

Island branch continues growth

SLIEMA, MALTA - Growth of the Malta Branch on this island nation continues, with missionary efforts moving ahead and the recent organization of a branch Relief Society, reported branch Pres. Emanuel d'Emanuele.

Malta is located 60 miles south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. The current branch was organized in 1988. Pres. d'Emanuele was among the first to embrace the gospel on the island, and he expressed joy at the steady growth of the branch as members and missionaries have increased their efforts. Currently, there are four elders and a missionary couple serving full-time on the island.

Another recent milestone for the Malta Branch was its first branch conference, presided over by Pres. G. Robert Dewitt of the Italy Catania Mission.

Africa Area

LDS mayor visits `sister city'

YAMOUSSOUKRO, IVORY COAST - A "sister city" relationship has been established with this capital city of Ivory Coast and the city of Midrand, South Africa. The relationship was initiated by Midrand Mayor Alan Dawson, an active Church member. At a recent state dinner held in Ivory Coast in commemoration of the new relationship, Mayor Dawson met with Yamoussoukro Mayor Konan Banny, and Ivory Coast Pres. Houghey Boigy. At the dinner, a stake missionary from Ivory Coast, Elder Koussi-Golet interpreted for the party and presented copies of the Book of Mormon to the dignitaries.

About the same time, missionary work has been formally introduced to Yamoussoukro, and Pres. Robert Mercer of the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission was among the invited guests.

Mayor Dawson was made an official Nanan (chief) of the ancient village of Yamoussoukro, and dressed in flowing robes called a "kle" during the recognition dinner.

"We will soon receive the official delegation from the Ivory Coast at Midrand," said Mayor Dawson. "We are inviting a number of young university students from the Ivory Coast for the specialized training in South Africa."

Europe North Area

Members boost retention

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - An emphasis of working with members is helping missionaries increase both the number of lessons taught and the retention of those baptized, said Pres. Ian D. Swanney of the Scotland Edinburgh Mission.

He said that missionaries invite responsive members to attend discussions with them, and then invite the members to help fellowship the investigators. As a result, the number of discussions given in the past two months has nearly doubled and retention has increased by about 10 percent.

Pres. Swanney said the increases are because members are more involved in missionary work. He also noted that working closely with the ward mission leaders has helped both stake and full-time missionaries become more unified.

Pacific Area

Microfilming work lauded

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - The Honorable Peter Foss, Minister for Health, the Arts and Consumer Affairs of the state government of Western Australia, praised the Church for its attention to historical records and for its stand on setting values.

Mr. Foss, in meeting recently with Elder Lowell D. Wood of the Seventy and first counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency, commended the Church for its work in microfilming government and non-government records. He said that members of his own family regularly visited the Church's family history libraries.

North America Northwest Area

Quilts tied for charity

BELLEVUE, WASH. - Relief Society sisters of the Bellevue Washington Stake recently tied some 150 quilts for St. Joseph's Baby Corner, a Catholic charity that helps needy women care for their infants.

Women of the community were invited to join the quilt-tying project and enjoy a luncheon of soup and homemade bread.

The quilt-tying project was also done last year, and is under the direction of Carla Jensen, who is over the community service projects for the stake.

North America Central Area

Reunion of temple workers

GLENVIEW, ILL. - About 300 former temple ordinance workers of the Chicago Illinois Temple gathered Oct. 10-12 to honor the temple presidents and do temple work.

The former ordinance workers served under presidents Lysle R. Cahoon, Edwin B. Jones and current Pres. Paul W. Wilson. Some came from as far away as Alaska. The reunion consisted of a meeting at which the presidents spoke, a dinner dance and a day of temple service.

North America West Area

Commitment to community

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - About 1,000 people, including representatives of the Church, attended a "Celebration of Commitment," held recently at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church. The event was sponsored by the Interfaith Coalition to Heal L.A., a grassroots organization of 250 clergy and congregations that works to develop closer relations between neighborhoods and peoples.

Roger Lovet of the Harbor 1st Ward, Palos Verdes California Stake, represented his stake at the event and reaffirmed the commitment of local Church members to help in the healing process of the city's neighborhoods. He sang a solo, "Love in Any Language," for which he received a standing ovation. He and others serve on the interfaith coalition.

Pres. Randall Turner, president of the Palos Verdes stake, said stake members are involved because "these are challenging times in Los Angeles. The recent [riot-related] trials have renewed fears and concerns in our community. If we don't do something to bridge the gap, then mistrust and pointless blaming will continue and increase."

He said the efforts of many religious leaders have fostered closer relationships and increased the spirit of sharing.

Utah Central Area

Literacy a joint effort

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - A recent emphasis on literacy for all ages at the Salt Lake Parleys Stake drew some 860 people, and encouraged ward leaders to continue the effort, according to Jeanie McAllister, stake Relief Society education counselor. "It was a joint effort between priesthood brethren and Relief Society sisters," said Sister McAllister.

Stake Pres. James L. Parkin and Sister McAllister chaired an evening in which relevant workshops and activities involving literacy were presented for members from the young to adults. Workshops for children through teens included story telling, introduction to various cultures, a look at the families each person belongs to, scriptural Jeopardy, employment interviews and resume preparation, and examining the book sources from which movies are made.

For adults, the workshops included Gospel Literature, Keeping an Exciting Journal If Your Life Is Boring, Making the Scriptures Come to Life, World Literature that Teaches Gospel Principles and How to Better Apply the Scriptures - What did the Lord Say?

The effort was organized by ward priesthood and Relief Society leaders and publicized well throughout the stake, said Sister McAllister.

Utah South Area

Gardens for needy

PROVO, UTAH - Students in the Star B class at the Edgemont 3rd Ward, Provo Utah Edgemont South Stake, worked under the direction of their teacher, Marian Seeley, to plant, weed and harvest a garden and donate the harvest to the needy.

The children planted onions, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, squash, beans and tomatoes, which were donated to the Food and Shelter Coalititon in Provo. They also grew and shared flowers for those in poor health.

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