From around the world

North America Central Area: Gingerbread on display

OMAHA, NEB. - More than 100 gingerbread houses and other scenes are in this year's Gingerbread on Parade at Winter Quarters Historic Site. Gingerbread on Parade, a gift to the community from Church members, has been a tradition at Winter Quarters for the past nine years. The displays were created by members throughout the region.

With a theme, "Home for the Holidays," the miniature homes draped by icing and ornamented with candy feature such details as stained candy glass windows, and tiny figures and faces peering out windows, said Joyce Harrop, Winter Quarters director of public affairs.

Among the interpretations of the theme is a fluffy white airplane with cookie wheels, and the title "Home For the Holidays," created by wishful college students.

The display was officially opened Nov. 19 by Mary Ethel Emanuel, Nebraska tourism department's director of development. Afterwards, Elder Kenneth Barker, director of the site, emphasized that "Christmas is time for families to be together and a time to think of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His gift to us."

About 15,000 people, including many wide-eyed school children, are expected to tour the display. A gingerbread cookie is given to each person after his or her visit. After the gingerbread parade closes Dec. 22, the gingerbread items will be donated to hospitals, nursing homes, care facilities and to people who are shut in.

North America Northwest Area: Fair brings information

ROSEBURG, ORE - More than 350 people attended the Douglas County Family Resources Fair, held Nov. 19 and sponsored jointly by the Roseburg Oregon Stake public affairs council and 19 agencies.

Tami Francis, stake director of public affairs, said the fair was held as part of National Family Week. The fair was made up of a day of free classes on family-related topics, with classes by 17 professionals, including LDS author and psychologist Sterling Ellsworth.

Some of the topics of the fair were: the lasting effects of parents' words on children; alternatives to traditional discipline for behavioral problems; dealing with teens; learning to set appropriate expectations for children; marriage as the foundation of the family well-being; domestic violence; how to defuse negative behavior in children; and dealing with sibling tattling and squabbling.

A local donor provided lunch and child care for those in attendance.

"It is amazing how much support and enthusiasm we received from the community on this project," said Sister Francis. "The bridges of friendship and understanding that it has created go far beyond our expectations. We're already working on next year's fair."

North America Northeast Area: Spiritual training given youth

GREAT FALLS, VA. - A recent two-day leadership training for youth of the Great Falls Ward, McLean Virginia Stake, helped unify and instruct them on inspiration regarding their callings.

"Young people need to feel an urgency and sense of stewardship in serving in youth presidencies," said Bishop D. Fraser Bullock.

Most of the youth were pleasantly surprised with the spiritual experiences that they shared during the training. "Young people and adults gained a renewed determination to reach out to all youth of the ward with a love and desire for unity and spiritual strength as the basis for fulfilling their callings," said Virginia Bywater, stake director of public affairs.

North America West Area: Youth collect, deliver supplies

HESPERIA, CALIF. - The Laurels and priests of the Hesperia 1st Ward, Hesperia California Stake, organized and collected food goods and clothing for a few disadvantaged families in San Felipe, Baja Mexico, said Bishop David O. Judd.

A case of Spanish language copies of the Book of Mormon was also donated. The youth gathered and packed the materials and then a group of youth and leaders traveled to San Felipe to deliver the materials.

While in San Felipe the group was hosted by San Felipe Branch Pres. Beto Valdez. He said some single mothers in the branch would receive the donated supplies.

Philippines/Micronesia Area: Fair attracts thousands

BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES - A five-day health fair, sponsored by the Church in coordination with the Philippines Department of Heath, was visited by some 10,000 people. The fair, held during the first week in November, offered tips on such subjects as personal hygiene, obesity, smoking, stress, alcoholism, parasites, and prevention of cancer, AIDS, emphysema and diabetes.

During the same period during the first week in November, an open house was held at the Philippines Baguio City Mission home with diplays on family history, the plan of salvation, missionary work and self-reliance. About 500 people attended the open house. Church literature and light refreshments were offered to visitors.

Seven couples, plus Pres. Roger L. Hiatt and his wife, Nancy, hosted the visitors. Among those who attended were neighbors, public officials and business persons.

Pacific Area: Samoans entertain neighbors

BRAESIDE, AUSTRALIA - An evening of Polynesian entertainment and food was recently presented for the community by the Samoan Branch of the Melbourne Braeside Stake. In addition to dignitaries attending, many elderly people from neighboring nursing homes also came and enjoyed the event. Of the 400 who attended, about 170 were not members of the Church.

Copies of the Book of Mormon were presented to some of the guests.

In opening remarks at the event, Bishop Tausaga L. Taula of the Braeside Ward, who was involved in organizing the evening, said, "The main purpose of the evening was to introduce the Church to the general community."

Brazil Area: Youth brighten town

SOROCABA, BRAZIL - Some 150 youth from the Sorocaba Brazil Barcelona Stake recently traveled to the nearby town of Aracoiaba da Serra, where they took part in a comunity clean-up project. The youth painted sidewalks and curbing, weeded flower gardens and swept squares and cleaned up litter.

"It was a choice experience for the youth," said Demar Stanicia, Brazil Area public affairs director.

The youth were featured in local newspapers and in a network television program.

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