From around the world

Europe Area

Congregations enjoy choirs

LEEWARDEN, NETHERLANDS - A warm relationship is developing between members of Leeuwarden Branch, Apeldorn Netherlands Stake, and members of a local branch of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The two branches recently held an evening of music in which combined choirs and soloists performed various music for members of both congregations.

Branch Pres. Jan Jansma said that "in following the footsteps of our Church leaders, we have seen a deep respect develop between the members of both choirs. Without looking at the differences of faith, we found that there was room for friendship."

He noted that the first baptisms of the Church in Europe, on Oct. 5, 1961, occurred in the area, and a monument to that event is located near the meeting place of the Reorganized Church's branch.

Africa Area

BYU dancers tour South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - BYU's Dancers Company and Theatre Ballet toured South Africa recently and received enthusiastic responses during their monthlong stay, according to local news reports.

The student dancers performed contemporary and jazz dances and classical ballet during their first visit to Africa.

"The performances were a great success," said Elder Richard P. Lindsay of the Seventy, area president. "The performers from BYU had great rapport with their audience during and after the show. For the sake of the country and the members, it was a great time for them to be here."

The troupes also held workshops, master classes and lectures for those interested.

North America Northwest Area

Benefit for cancer research

BELLEVUE, WASH. - Two young adult wards from the Bellevue, Wash., area participated in a 24-hour marathon recently for the American Cancer Society. About 60 young adults from the Bellevue 8th Ward, Bellevue Washington Stake, and the Sammamish Valley Ward, Redmond Washington Stake, were among about 150 residents of all ages who helped raise $17,000 for cancer research.

Rob Fuhriman, president of the elders quorum in the Bellevue 8th Ward, said that each of the two wards provided 25-30 runners, who were divided into two teams. Members of each team ran in intervals during the event, which was held at a local high school track.

Brother Fuhriman related that cancer survivors were among the runners. "One cancer survivor went the whole 24 hours straight. He did almost two complete marathons, walking and running. It was unbelievable."

Continuing, he said: "At midnight, the lights at the track were turned out, and in the one end zone of the football field were candles under paper bags on which were written the names of many who have died from cancer. It was a powerful way to remind everybody why we were there."

North America West Area

Young adults help homeless

SAN JOSE, CALIF. - Members of the young adult ward in the San Jose California Stake are currently involved in four service projects for the homeless.

"The young adult ward (San Jose 25th Ward) has served as an example to other wards in the stake," explained John Minick, stake clerk. "In fact, they have invited other wards to join them in their community service activities."

This focus on community service began about two years ago when ward mission leader Ernie Glave recruited ward members to feed the homeless at a local shelter. On the third Monday of each month, Brother Glave arrives at the shelter early in the afternoon to cook enough food for about 150 men, women and children. Then later in the day, about 15 or 20 others help him provide the meals to the needy.

Other service projects include serving meals to the homeless at the San Jose Armory, working with a local Trinity Methodist Church to provide sack lunches weekly for the homeless at the San Jose Armory, working with a local Trinity Methodist Church to provide sack lunches weekly for the homeless at a local park in nearby Sunnyvale and painting houses that are prepared for the homeless.

Utah Central Area

Ancestors subject of fair

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - "Finding Your Elusive Ancestor," a family history conference and fair attracting more than 300 people was recently sponsored by the Salt Lake Mt. Olympus Stake.

The all-day seminar offered four subjects each hour for six hours, a total of 24 classes. A series of computer courses were also offered on FamilySearch and Personal Ancestral File.

The conference attracted people from the greater Salt Lake area, Wyoming and California. A number of people not members of the Church attended and visited the stake missionary booth at the fair.

Utah South Area

Pioneer settling celebrated

EPHRAIM, UTAH - Church members recently joined other residents of this central Utah community to celebrate Scandinavian Days, in commemoration of the settlement of the area by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s.

Many of the early settlers sent to Sanpete County by President Brigham Young were of Scandinavian descent. They were remembered through a variety of activities including exhibits and displays, building and historic site tours, a parade, a Scandinavian breakfast, musical performances and pioneer remembrances at some Church meetings.

North America Northeast Area

Baptismal clothing distributed

RICHMOND, VA. - After finding out that the Russia Moscow Mission was in need of women's baptismal clothing, the Richmond Virginia Stake Relief Society decided to provide the clothing as a service project to close the Relief Society sesquicentennial celebration.

Sisters from six wards and one branch in the stake made 13 dresses in various styles and sizes. The dresses, along with photos of the Richmond sisters, were taken to Moscow by a member of the stake who was traveling there on business. The dresses were distributed in Moscow and three new branches in other Russian cities. The Richmond Stake has received two letters of thanks along with photos of Relief Society members in Moscow admiring the clothing.

"We have been assured that the dresses have already been used many times," said Nedra Luke, Richmond Stake Relief Society president.

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