From around the world

Africa Area

Branch flourishing in Burundi

BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI - After its first six months of organization, the Bujumbura Branch in Burundi continues to flourish with 36 members, and four full-time missionaries.

"It is growing slowly but very steadily," said Pres. Homer M. LeBaron of the Zaire Kinshasha Mission. "The branch is now fully organized with a lot of active people who are willing to serve.

"Our members are quite well-educated. We have four who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood and a number of priests who will be ordained elders in the near future."

The Church established a branch in the capital city of this East Central African country following its adoption of a new constitution in 1992. Burundi is located along the borders of Tanzania, Zaire and Rwanda and the shores of Lake Tanganyika. A primarily Christian nation, Burundi has a population of about 5.8 million.

The first branch president, Pres. Egide Nzojibwami, was set apart by Elder J. Ballard Washburn of the Africa Area presidency and a member of the Seventy, on Nov. 27, 1992. The first branch meeting was held two days later with 39 in attendance. Pres. LeBaron and his wife, Aleene, met with the Nzojibwami family and arranged for the organization.

Soon after the branch was organized, missionaries from the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission (formerly Cameroon Yaounde Mission) arrived and began teaching the pool of investigators. These missionaries are Elders Francois Boue, Felix Gnamba, Aime Cesar Kipre and Bassin Kouhon.

Pres. Nzojibwami and his wife, Beatrice, were baptized in Leige, Belgium, in 1984 while pursuing studies in that country. He is dean of the school of Geological Engineering at the University of Burundi, said Sister LeBaron.

Asia Area Encyclopedia donated to library

Elder Halvor P. Hansen, serving in the Singapore Mission with his wife, Colleen, recently presented a set of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism books to the National Library of Malaysia.

Elder Hansen, a former professor at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., specializing in cross-cultural communications, was instrumental in arranging the donation.

The library organized a ceremony for the presentation attended by staff members, members of the media and Church representatives.

Europe North Area BYU society formed


More than 80 people from the Crawley, Hyde Park, Maidstone, Reading, Staines, St. Albans and Wandsworth stakes took part in forming a new chapter of the BYU Management Society that will be known as the London Management Forum.

Anthony Warren, chairman, said the society's functions will be to provide opportunities for career enhancement, associations with those holding similar values on a professional and social level, discussions of timely issues, and service to the community.

In attendance at the July 31 meeting were Elders Jeffrey R. Holland and Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy, members of the Europe North Area presidency. Both of them encouraged those in attendance to participate in the group.

North America Central Area Stakes perform `Moroni'

GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The two stakes in the Grand Junction area recently performed the drama "Moroni," written by Newell Dayley and Ralph G. Rodgers Jr.

The three performances were held before large, enthusiastic audiences in the William Robinson Theater at Mesa State College.

Directed by Joyce Mower Kelly, the musical had a cast of 170 and culminated following six months of preliminary work that included preparing vivid costuming, a full orchestra and scenery depicting temples and landscapes of Book of Mormon lands. Moroni was portrayed by Aaron Marsh and Mormon by Monte McCall.

North America Northwest Area Ward boosts Special Olympics

MCKINNEY, TEXAS - A plaque has been presented to the McKinney Ward, Plano Texas Stake, by the Special Olympics for the ward's participation in the recent city-sponsored games.

According to the directors of the games, the ward members made up 80 percent of all the collective volunteer services that were donated. A total of 121 ward members helped keep scores and times during the basketball events, said Bishop Tom Brett.

Members also provided decorations for the opening ceremonies, helped direct teams and distributed food.

"All the ward members were enriched as a result of this worthy cause," said Lance A. Dowd, ward communications specialist.

North America Northeast Area Pioneer race sponsored

More than 100 runners participated in the first Pioneer Memorial 5K Race sponsored by the single adults of the Mount Vernon Virginia Stake on the 24th of July.

Before the race, event organizer and stake single adult representative Matt Hansen presented a brief history of the Mormon pioneers. Most of the runners in the race that followed a course through a park near the Jefferson and Washington monuments in Washington, D.C., were not members of the Church. North America

West Area Work moves forward for deaf

LA MESA, CALIF. - Some 25 American Sign Language-trained workers are serving in the newly opened San Diego California Temple.

Many of the workers are from the University City Deaf Branch of the San Diego California North Stake. Their service is indicative of the progress made by the branch. Since the branch was created in February of 1992, it has sponsored inter-denominational programs at Christmas and Easter. A highlight for the branch came recently as it sponsored a conference for members who are deaf that drew 250 members from several states.

With the assistance of the sign-language-trained temple workers, patrons who are deaf or hearing impaired who attended the conference were able to participate in all aspects of temple work, including baptisms for the dead, sealings and endowments.

The branch was created following a successful sign language class held by stake member Tracine Parkinson, a returned missionary who served a sign language mission. The class grew to nearly 100 people, and included many non-hearing members. Classes for children, beginning, advanced and interpreters were held.

The members feel that "the Lord had prepared this area for a wonderful work and is continuing to move that work forward. We are grateful to be allowed to participate in this effort," said Patrick Beachley, one of the branch members.

Utah South Area House raising, crew feeding

OREM, UTAH - Relief Society sisters of the Lakeridge 10th Ward, Orem Utah Lakeridge Stake, provided food for nearly 300 workers who built a home in less than three days for a needy Utah family.

The ward Relief Society coordinated and served all the meals for a large construction crew that burned a lot of calories as they worked quickly to complete the house.

Local businesses donated most of the food for the event, which was organized by Habitat for Humanity of Utah County, a non-profit service organization that works to build homes for needy families, and by the Utah Valley Home Builders Association.

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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