From around the world

Brazil Area: Leaders support blood drive

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - Following an appeal from local authorities, members of the 14 stakes of metropolitan Sao Paulo are donating blood to ease a shortage.

Adalton Parrela, multiregional director of public affairs, organized a six-month blood drive. Participating in the opening ceremonies for the drive on June 25 were Elders Harold G. Hillam, Helvecio Martins and Claudio R. Mendes Costa of the Seventy. Also participating were Pres. Athos Amorim of the Sao Paulo Temple, four regional representatives, many stake presidencies and top city government officials. A total of 131 donors contributed blood during the opening ceremonies.

The opening ceremonies were covered by several radio stations and newspapers.

South America South Area: City centennial observed

SAN ANTONIO, CHILE - During the 100th anniversary of the founding of this city, located about 70 miles from Santiago, the mayor was presented with several LDS books, including the Book of Mormon. He was also presented a copy of the Church magazine Liahona, containing the history of the Church in this city in the magazine's local pages.

The presentation was made by Rodolfo Acevedo, Chile director of public affairs. In responding to the gift, Mayor Elidio Soto Soto said that the Church in Chile "is an organization that respects all the citizens. . . . Continue your work because it is beneficial for the youth, helping them in cultural aspects they lack."

The Liahona article noted that the first missionaries arrived in San Antonio in 1967. It also noted that following a destructive earthquake in March 1985, an LDS meetinghouse in San Antonio was used as a hospital. During that period, several babies were born, "giving comfort and hope to their parents" during the sad occasion of destruction.

Philippines/Micronesia Area: Health fair to tour nation

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Thousands of persons, including Jaime U. Tan, Philippines undersecretary of health, attended a two-day Church-sponsored health fair in Rizal Park in downtown Manila recently. He cut a ribbon opening the fair's exhibits, which will soon begin a nationwide tour in conjunction with the Department of Health's information campaign.

Elders Ben B. Banks and Augusto A. Lim, president and first counselor respectively of the area presidency, attended the fair. The fair was sponsored by the Church's Welfare Services Department, under the direction of Bruce Muir, director of temporal affairs, and Ruben G. Gapiz, director of Welfare Services. Among the audio-visual exhibits were a smoking machine that shows how smoking darkens lungs; educational displays on diabetes, dengue, and stroke; and a puppet show for children on the importance of brushing teeth daily.

Pacific Area: Serve physically, spiritually

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Some 160 young men and young women of the Sydney Australia Hebersham Stake helped clear an old quarry to make way for a workshop for long-term unemployed youth. At one point, the young men were warned, "You won't be able to dig out those tree stumps. We've been at it for weeks with little success."

"Those words were like a red flag to a bull," said Marianne Walters, director of public affairs. "Those young men dug out every one of the tree stumps."

The youth also cleared away ground cover, mulched the ground and even made more than 500 bricks for the construction of the building.

At the conclusion of the service project, the youth held a social evening, participated in temple work, and shared their testimonies in a meeting on the temple grounds.

North America Northwest Area: Sheltered in mock quake

SILVERDALE, WASH. - Members of the Silverdale Washington Stake took part in a Kitsap County mock earthquake drill June 24 as they spent the night in a meetinghouse designated as one of the county's six American Red Cross shelters.

About 20 people, mostly members, spent the night at the Poulsbo meetinghouse. Throughout the county, about 150 "victims" participated in the mock disaster drill. Salley Trampel of the Silverdale 3rd Ward, a Red Cross volunteer, is disaster director for north Kitsap County. She supervised activities at the meetinghouse shelter during the drill.

"In a situation such as this, the local Red Cross volunteers are expected to manage the shelters for at least three days, set up emergency communications and assess damage to the buildings in the area," said Sister Trampel.

Those who stayed at the shelter viewed a video of the recent Southern California earthquake. Dinners were provided for them. They particularly appreciated the 100 new cots recently purchased by the stake for use in a disaster.

North America Northeast Area: Accentuating the positive

HARRISBURG, PA. - Several members of the Harrisburg Pennsylvania Stake participated June 5 in a "Service of Affirmation and Community Unity," sponsored by the Inter-religious Forum of Greater Harrisburg. The purpose of the service was to accentuate the positive things that are happening in the religious communities of the greater Harrisburg area.

Hosted by Pastor James Grubb at the Grace United Methodist Church of Harrisburg, the service included participation by organizer Charles Cooper, a former stake president and current member of the Harrisburg Stake Public Affairs Council; stake high councilor Joseph Williams; stake music chairman Ann Shurtz; and a youth singing group that included members of the Harrisburg stake and the Harrisburg Academy.

During the past two years, members of the stake have joined in inter-religious fairs and Thanksgiving and Peace services.

North America Southwest Area: Town celebrates centennial

BLUEWATER, N. M. - The centennial of this Mormon colony in eastern New Mexico, founded in 1884, was celebrated July 19-23 with a parade, exhibits and multiple family reunions.

The colony was preceded by missionaries sent by Brigham Young to teach the gospel to native American people in Arizona. Later, Elder Brigham Young Jr. of the Council of the Twelve sent missionaries to the Bluewater area, and the community was founded soon afterwards.

North America West Area: Choirs unite talents

WALNUT CREEK, CALIF. - Mormons, Catholics and Lutherans united their talents and resources to co-sponsor an interfaith choir fest recently that raised $600 for the Contra Costa County Food Bank. Taking part in the "Interfaith Choral Fest" were two stake choirs, two Catholic choirs and two Lutheran choirs with a total of 168 participants.

The choral fest was held at the St. Stephen's Catholic Church. A standing room only audience of 1,000 people attended.

"This is a significant event in the history of the stake and sets a standard for community service," said Pres. David R. Owens, first counselor in the Walnut Creek California Stake.

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