From around the world

Africa Area: Three days of service

MBABANE, SWAZILAND - A team of young adults from the Sandton and Gold Reef wards of the Johannesburg South Africa Stake recently completed a three-day service project in this city, according to Don Harper, regional representative.

During the project, the LDS young adults taught songs and entertained orphans at the Swaziland Government Hospital. They then cleaned the local meetinghouse and planted trees on the grounds. Three returned missionaries also spent several hours training three prospective missionaries.

"Everyone involved felt the spiritual rewards for service rendered," said Elder Harper.

Swaziland District Pres. Jerome Shongwe and Mbabane Branch Pres. Kevin Jones were involved with much of the planning and assisted in the preparations for the event, he said.

Asia Area: Article features members

SINGAPORE - Family home evening was the theme of an essay about the Ho family that was featured in The Straits Times, the main newspaper in Singapore. The essay, written by A.C. Ho about the importance of home evening in his family, was one of two winners in the Ministry of Community Development's Family Life essay contest.

Excerpts of the essay were printed on the newspaper's family page and included a color photo of Brother Ho; his wife, Helen; and daugthers, Stephanie and Lavon. The Hos are members of the Clementi Branch, Singapore District.

Europe North Area: Communicate in Russian

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - A knowledge of the Russian language has become an advantage for members who live in the republics of the former Soviet Union. Under the previous regime, more than 100 native languages were spoken within the boundaries of the Soviet Union, but all people were compelled to learn Russian to some degree.

Today some prefer not to use a language that reminds them of what they would rather forget. "However, at the same time, several are finding that ability in Russian gives them the chance to gain knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ," wrote Brigitta Strandberg in a recent issue of Nordstjaernan, the Church's Swedish-language magazine.

"Translation of the scriptures and temple ordinances into all of these languages will take time, and thus the earlier requirement to learn Russian has now become a blessing."

For example, in June, Gvido and Velga Senkans with their daughters Judite and Kristine received the sealing ordinances in Russian in the Stockholm Temple, the first family from Latvia to do so. According to the Nordstjaernan article, they accepted the gospel when they lived in Moscow two years ago. They now live in Riga, Sweden, where a Russian branch of the Church was recently organized.

Brazil Area: Praised for microfilming

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - For the first time, a federal congressman has delivered a speech in the Brazil House of Representatives praising the Church for its excellent service in preserving records through the microfilming of documents.

The congressman, Deputy Jose Maria Eymael, said, "The devotion to family, shown so emphatically by the Mormons, is an edifying example of civic duty and religiousness, when in the modern society the disintegration of the famliy is jeopardizing the basic principles of fraternity and civilization."

He also introduced a bill, which was approved, to preserve and maintain public and private documents that benefit the Brazilian people.

Utah South Area: Temple work honors ancestors

MANTI, UTAH - More than 200 descendants of Jon Nightingale Davis and Minnie Jaspersen Davis met here recently to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the wedding of their ancestors. During the weekend reunion, family members attended a session at the Manti Temple, where John and Minnie were married and sealed 100 years ago.

Saturday activities at a city park included picnics, games, singing, visiting, a program, and slides and videos of past family activities. A special testimony meeting was conducted on Sunday, where many spiritual thoughts and fond memories were expressed.

John N. Davis was of English and Welsh descent and was the son of Mormon pioneers Edward William and Jemima Davis. He served as a bishop and patriarch in Vernal, Utah. Wilhelmine Caroline Marie "Minnie" Jasperson was from Denmark. She served as stake Relief Society president in Vernal for 26 years.

South America South Area: 10th year of temple noted

SANTIAGO, CHILE - Elder Lynn A. Mickelsen of the Seventy and president of the South America South Area, presided at a meeting held to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Santiago Chile Temple.

At the meeting were the first converts in Chile, Ricardo and Perla Garcia of the Santiago La Florida Stake, who were baptized Nov. 2, 1956. They shared their testimonies of the blessings of the temple.

According to Rodolfo Acevedo, Chile area historian, membership in Chile has doubled since the temple was dedicated in 1983. At that time, the Church had 148,000 members in 36 stakes. Today, membership totals 346,788 members in 64 stakes.

He said the Saints of Chile remember with humility and emotion the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency when he offered the dedicatory prayer and said, "This is but a preface to the grand events of the future."

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