From around the world

Africa Area: Children sing about the temple

WINNEBA, GHANA - Primary children in the Winneba District recently completed their year of emphasis in Primary on the subject of temples. Primaries in the district participated in sacrament meeting presentations. Even though the temple nearest to them is thousands of miles away, they sang with feeling, "I want to see the temple."

The children's example helped increase their parents' desire to be worthy and prepare in hopes that someday they can attend a temple, said Pres. Christopher N. Chukrah, president of the Ghana Accra Mission.

"Although it was a difficult program for the children to learn, it taught everyone many important truths concerning the temple and temple work," he said.

Europe Area: Provide relief to refugees

AUSTRIA, VIENNA - Relief Society sisters and friends in the Vienna Austria Stake are continuing to provide assistance to women and children refugees of war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As supplies are donated to the effort, they are distributed to refugee camps and orphanages.

The efforts in Austria were recently assisted by Relief Society sisters in the United States through a word-of-mouth effort that eventually reached eight Eastern states. Under the direction of Kerry Johanson of the Oakton Virginia Stake, personal hygiene items and clothing were collected and flown to Zagreb, Croatia. Sister Johanson learned of the relief effort from her friend, Jeanne Vincent of the Vienna Austria Stake.

Sister Johanson said the donations were given to women who had been abused over a long period of time and children. Supplies were also given at Caritas, the headquarters for the Catholic relief agencies.

The 800-pound shipment from the United States Relief Societies was carried free of charge by an airline. Several Church members accompanied the shipment at their own expense. At the refugee camp, they found crowds of people housed in crude shelters and barracks.

Assisting these people "really opened my eyes to the tremendous force for good that the Relief Society can be in the world," Sister Johanson said.

Pacific Area: President speaks at ceremony

TARAWA, KIRIBATI - Teatao Teanaki, president of the Republic of Kiribati, was the main speaker at the recent graduation ceremony at Moroni High School. His wife presented the graduates their diplomas, and many members of his cabinet also attended the ceremony at the Church-owned and operated institution.

President Teanaki, a member of the Catholic Church, was impressed with the facilities of the school, and the variety of courses being taught. He expressed surprise to learn that classes in the use of computers are offered to all grade levels at the high school, and commented that the only classes receiving computer instruction in other schools in Kiribati are for older students.

The graduation theme was "Education for Eternity." After the ceremony, President and Mrs. Teanaki, along with his cabinet members and other dignitaries, were guests at a feast prepared by cafeteria workers and home economics students.

North America Central Area: Many visit historic site

OMAHA, NEB. - Visitors at the Winter Quarters Historic Site increased by 7 percent during 1993, reported Elder Monte C. Nelson, director. He said that a total of 48,800 came to the center during the year. The center is located in northeast Omaha, in what once was the community of Florence.

The largest number of visitors, some 14,000, came to view the Christmas season gingerbread display, he said. Although this exhibit is considered a gift from the LDS members to the Omaha community and is not a proselyting effort, the display has improved the Church's reputation, he said.

For example, three television stations covered the exhibit and the largest newspaper in Omaha devoted nearly a page of color photos to the story. After the exhibit ended, young adults from the area delivered the houses to hospitals and convalescent centers. The largest gingerbread house was 7 feet long and 3 feet wide.

"It is a great demonstration of love to see the families bring their gingerbread houses to the center, and to see the young adults take them out to the hospitals," said Elder Nelson.

Another sizeable part of the visitors are some 4,500 school children who came to learn about Nebraska history and the nearly 80 settlements founded in the area by Mormons during the pioneer period.

North America Northwest Area: Seminar attracts 150

COOS BAY, ORE. - About 150 people attended the 14th Annual Genealogical Seminar held recently at the Coos Bay Oregon LDS Family History Center.

Those attending the day-long seminar in the Coos Bay (Ore.) Ward meetinghouse came from as far away as Portland, Ore., and from Crescent City, Calif.

The program was held under direction of Mary Bursik, head librarian for the family history center. Ann Warner, public affairs director for the Coos Bay Oregon Stake, explained that each year more and more people attend the seminar. "Participants keep passing the news of the seminar by word of mouth to their friends," she said.

North America Northeast Area: Store transformed into chapel

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A grocery story in the inner city here has been transformed into a meetinghouse for the Capitol Hill Branch, located just a few blocks from the nation's Capitol.

Pres. Clayton F. Foulger, counselor in the Washington D.C. Stake presidency, said that the branch size now qualifies it for a meetinghouse.

"We just believe that the real solution to the downtown violence, drugs, and economic problems really relates back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The people are converted to the principles of the gospel and industry - that's the real solution to the problem."

About 70 people attend services at the branch's new quarters. Missionaries stationed in the branch are continuing to find success, said Pres. Foulger.

North America Southwest Area: Argentine missionaries gather

TEMPE, ARIZ. - Pre-World War II missionaries who served in Argentina held their 54th annual reunion Dec. 31, in Tempe, Ariz.

At the event, which included a buffet supper and program, were 59 guests, including 25 missionaries who served from 1935-44. The eldest in Church service present was William Cummings, who served from 1935-38. Corrine Williams, widow of Frederick S. Williams, missionary from 1927-29 and mission president from 1938-42, was not able to attend.

In addition to their first missions to Argentina, the 25 missionaries and spouses have contributed about 50 additional years of missionary service, including four as mission presidents in various parts of the world, six as temple presidents and workers, and two who presided over missionary training centers.

South America was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel Dec. 25, 1925, by Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Council of the Twelve. He was accompanied by Elders Rulon S. Wells and Rey L. Pratt of the First Council of the Seventy. The mission was divided into the Brazilian and Argentine missions in 1936. A decade later, after a slowing of activity during World War II, membership was 800. Today, Argentina has about 182,000 members, nine missions and 34 stakes.

North America Southeast Area: Youth serve community

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Primary children in the Charlotte 3rd Ward spent a recent activity day raking leaves; planting flowers; and making and distributing fruit baskets to widows, less-active families and families with new babies. They also distributed boxes of food.

Young women in the ward served at a local crises shelter, and others in the ward earned money that was donated to the center. The young women and young men also cleaned litter on a road in front of their meetinghouse.

Utah Central Area: Visitors increase at museum

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Visitors at the Church's Museum of Church History and Art increased by a third in 1993, according to Glen M. Leonard, director.

Brother Leonard credited the sharp increase in visitors to the exhibit on the Salt Lake Temple during its centennial year. He said visitors from throughout the world toured the exhibit, "The Mountain of the Lord's House - Construction of the Salt Lake Temple, 1853-1893."

In 1993, some 401,827 people came to the museum, a 34 percent increase over 1992. After the exhibit was opened the last week in March, record numbers of visitors began attending, he said.

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