From around the world

North America Central Area Trek run a success

CITY, IOWA - The first Mormon Trek Commemorative Run, held June 12, drew 300 contestants. They ran the hilly route once followed by Mormon handcart companies of 1856.

The 5K "fun run" was held in conjunction with the Iowa City Road Races. An art display at the beginning of the race featured pioneer artifacts and a model of a handcart, borrowed from a local museum. Non-members Todd Houge and Jennifer Schoonover were the top male and female finishers with times of 15:43:3 and 20:19:3, respectively.

"We've been searching for a way to publicize the Mormon trek," said Lee Briggs, one of the organizers. The event was sponsored by the missionary committee of the high priests group in the Iowa City Ward and is planned to be held annually.

"This has really turned into a special event," said Brother Briggs. He added that the goal of the organizers is to have a celebration commemorating the start of the trek west that is a counterpart to the July 24th celebration.

Brother Briggs; Grant Smith, another member of the organizing committee; and Cedar Rapids Iowa Stake Pres. Cordell E Jeppsen are among the local members who are descendants of handcart pioneers. North America West Area Mission lifts community

MERCED, CALIF. - On a recent weekend, some 250 young men and young women took part in a two-day service effort that opened many doors for missionaries. The youth cleaned creeks, streets, parks and served in nursing homes. Others assisted eight LDS dentists doing volunteer work for those who could not afford their care. The dentists each donated one day of services and treated some 150 young people from less-fortunate families. These families were located by local agencies, including schools, for the service project. Translation was provided for those who did not speak English.

The youth also helped in proselyting and wore name badges. In one instance, six young women were to teach a newly baptized family how to have a home evening. To their surprise, an additional 16 non-members attended the meeting.

"The two-day project was a monumental effort and will be a great benefit to members of the community, and, of course, a great service experience for our teenagers," said Merced stake Pres. Jerry E. Callister. Utah Central Area Homes spruced up

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Members of the Salt Lake Millcreek Stake are combining their efforts with those of other faiths to improve the appearance of three homes belonging to single mothers in the Millcreek 2nd Ward.

On May 15, more than 50 persons, including 15 Aaronic Priesthood youth and stake Pres. Allan Brinkerhoff, came with lawn edgers, rakes, weed diggers, pruners, shovels, hammers and axes. Local contractors provided chainsaws, trucks and manpower. The group worked until late evening trimming and tearing away overgrown shrubs, thinning out and taking out old trees, removing weeds, gravel and debris, putting in topsoil and preparing some areas for sodding.

"We're going to plant grass and set in a sprinkler system," said Bishop Don Cook. He added that the project will include painting and siding walls of houses that have been hidden by the overgrown shrubbery for years. North America Northwest Area Young women search out roots

IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO - Young women in the Westview Ward, Idaho Falls Eagle Rock Stake, have researched a number of family names and taken part in baptisms, performed by ward priesthood leaders, on their behalf. The service was recommended by Becky Griffith, a young woman in the ward who had done proxy work for her aunt and found the experience very fulfilling, said Jean D. May, assistant stake family history consultant.

Through computers, five young women, who are Laurels, learned to obtain records of the family work completed, and what information and ordinances still remained to be done.

They submitted their research, along with additional information on contemporary family members, to the library.

North America Northeast Area British choir visits ward

YORKTOWN, VA. - Four members of the High Wycombe Choral Society in England recently visited and performed in the Yorktown Ward, Newport News Virginia Stake. Elfriede Morrison, a ward member and a participant in the Virginia Choral Society which performed in England last year, was asked if the group might visit her church when they came to Virginia.

The music was well received by ward members, and the English choral members commented how surprised they were to see the meeting function so well when there was no paid ministry. Asia Area Familiar song, familiar name

PANJIM, INDIA - Sharon Kirby of the Salem Oregon Stake is a humanitarian volunteer for BYU serving in India, in charge of 25 young children in an orphanage in this city. She was doubly surprised recently when the children sang for her, "Give, Said the Little Stream."

She learned from the children that they had learned the song from an American missionary who had given service time for the orphanage.

The missionary was Elder Karl Kirby of the India Banglore Mission - Sister Kirby's brother. Elder Kirby had spent many hours at the orphanage but had been transferred before his sister's arrival.

Sharon and Karl are the children of Dale Z. and Anne Kirby of the Salem 5th Ward, Salem Oregon Stake.

Philippines/Micronesia Area Missionary effort boosted

MANDAUE, PHILIPPINES - Until recently, Sister Dioselyn Sescon, a stake missionary from the Danao Ward, Philippines Mandaue Stake, who has a disability, was carried by her companions to her missionary appointments. Now, through the donation of a stake in Utah, she has been fitted with an artificial leg. She was also given a walker and three-wheel cycle.

Even before she received the artificial leg, however, she was an ardent missionary who taught the gospel to many people, said Pres. Cesar A. Perez Jr. of the Mandaue stake. Now, missionary work has increased. An average of 12 people per month are baptized in her ward.

The donations were made by the Spring Creek Utah Stake in honor of the Relief Society sesquicentennial.

Europe North Area Volunteers computerize census


LDS and other volunteers are taking part in what has been described as "one of the largest efforts to preserve an extensive historical record."

Some 9,000 volunteers from the British Federation of Family History Societies and the Genealogical Society of Utah are entering the information into computers from the British 1881 census, the most recent available to the public.

The information will be sorted and indexed to be readily located.

Pacific Area Researcher uses LDS records


Dr. Nicholas Martin of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research is among researchers who are using Church records to study genetic histories of families. He has received permission from various families to use family history records to track the incidence of twins.

He searches for lines that have recurrent twins, hoping then to locate the specific gene responsible. He recently visited Salt Lake City to futher his research at the Family History Library.

Readers from around the world are invited to submit news items and photos for this feature on Church events worldwide.

Submissions should include a telephone number of someone who can be contacted for additional information. Items should be mailed to Church News, "From Around the World," P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110. Fax No. (801) 237-2121.

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