From around the World

Pacific Area

`Hearts were touched'

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - A cast of 220 from 10 Auckland stakes recently presented the sesquicentennial production, "The Family, a Legacy of Honor," to about 8,000 people on three nights. An unexpected guest at the opening night performance was President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve.

In conjunction with the production, Church leaders invited local city councils in the Auckland area to select a pioneer family in each community to receive a "Faith in Every Footstep" service award. A number of community leaders also attended.

Members and non-members performed in the show, which was directed by Tom Taurima, cultural director of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii. One segment of the show, "Youth Garden," was written by him and performed earlier in Hawaii.

Pres. Stephen Keung, of the Sesquicentennial Priesthood Committee, said, "Hearts were touched and we could tell that members and friends alike gained a better understanding of the legacy of faith that is ours today."

North America Central Area

Service projects continue

BOZEMAN, MONT. - The Church's Worldwide Day of Service last summer to honor the pioneers has spawned an ongoing friendship and additional service projects. After a Bozeman 3rd Ward service project in July at Eagle Mount, which provides therapeutic recreation for people with disabilities, a group of priesthood holders have returned periodically to perform additional service for the facility. The services performed include installing wood chip paths, raking leaves and installing a water line. A number of other projects are also planned.

North America Northeast Area

Pioneer forebear honored

SHAWANGUNK, N.Y. - Eighty-five people, mostly descendants of LDS pioneer Zachariah Bruyn Decker, gathered for a family reunion recently to honor their forebear. They met at the ancestral home, started in 1720, and in other 18th century structures. Zachariah Decker, who served in the Mormon Battalion, was at Sutter's Mill in California when gold was discovered, and was in the Hole-in-the-Rock expedition to southern Utah. About half of those attending were Church members.

North America Southwest Area

Governor greets guests

AUSTIN, TEXAS - Texas Gov. George W. Bush hosted a delegation of prominent Latter-day Saints from his state Nov. 17, as he signed a proclamation setting aside the last week in November as "National Family Week" in Texas.

Gov. Bush accepted a copy of the "Proclamation on the Family," and praised his own LDS friends as "happy, content, successful people."

Elders Larry W. Gibbons and James S. Olson, Area Authority Seventies, led the delegation to the state Capitol in Austin.

Also in attendance were two LDS athletes, both former National Football League players, R. Brad Oates, now president of Bluebonnet Savings Bank in Dallas, and Gifford Nielsen, sports director and anchor for KHOU-TV in Houston.

Other Church members in the delegation included Melvin E. Olsen, vice president of American Airlines in Dallas; Frank McCullough, director of the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas; Nanette Richardson, owner of two San Antonio art galleries; Elmo Robinson, owner of retirement communities in Houston; country singer Don Walser; Gary Robinson, Church spokesman for the Austin area; and Texas San Antonio Mission Pres. Stephen West, and his wife, Martha.

The next day, on Nov. 18, another delegation of Texas Church members met with Austin Police Chief Stan Knee and Mayor Kirk Watson, who signed a proclamation for "National Family Week" in Austin.

North America Southeast Area

50th anniversary noted

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Columbia South Carolina Stake, one of the oldest stakes east of the Mississippi, celebrated its 50th anniversary recently. Missionaries first arrived in South Carolina in 1839, and, as membership grew, so did persecution of these early followers. Twice mobs burned one of the first meetinghouses in South Carolina, near Ridgeway, S.C. Today the Church enjoys acceptance in the area and is recognized for family values and service.

Elder Alvie R. Evans, Area Authority Seventy, presided over the celebration and was joined by stake Pres. James E. Bass and two former stake presidents. South Carolina Sen. Joe Wilson presented the stake with a resolution commending the Church for its 50 years of service and good influence in South Carolina.

North America West Area

Gravesite located

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. - Charles and Joan Hackley, newcomers to San Diego from Montana, have located records pinpointing the gravesite of a Mormon Battalion captain's wife, who died giving birth to the first American baby in San Diego.

The woman, Lydia Hunter, was the wife of Capt. Jesse Hunter. She died April 26, 1847. Her son, who was named Diego, grew to adulthood in this city. Two Battalion members, David Smith and Albert Dunham, were also buried in San Diego.

In searching for the gravesite, Brother Hackley traveled to Ft. Rosencrans National Cemetery, a military cemetery near Cabrillo National Monument north of San Diego. There, he located and made copies of a history of the old cemetery that provided lot and plot numbers of those buried before 1905, including Lydia Hunter. She was buried first at a place called La Playa on Point Loma, and then was moved in 1887 to the military cemetery because she was the wife of an officer.

Local members of the Mormon Battalion and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers are making arrangements to place an appropriate marker on her grave and to mark the graves of others who were involved in the early history of the area.

Utah North Area

Constitution signing celebrated

LOGAN, UTAH - A number of Church members participated in a pageant here, "A Day to Remember," which commemorated the 210th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The community event is sponsored by a local organization that annually commemorates the signing to help remind people of the importance of the principles of the Constitution.

The pageant, held in the renovated Eccles Theater, included a medley of patriotic hymns and recitations. Among those who performed were Michael Ballam, Ralph Pitcher, Brett Greene, the Bel Canto Chorus and Imperial Glee Club.

Hartman Rector Jr., emeritus General Authority, delivered the keynote address. Scott N. Bradley, a high councilor in the North Logan Utah Stake, wrote and narrated the pageant.

South America South Area

Mission legacy remembered

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - More than 1,000 attended a recent "Missionary Legacy" night held for returned and future missionaries and their families of 10 stakes in the Buenos Aires area.

All three of the area presidency spoke: Elder Carlos H. Amado and Elder Richard D. Allred, both of the Seventy, and Elder Hugo A. Catron, an Area Authority Seventy. They expressed appreciation for the contributions of the returned missionaries and encouraged potential missionaries to prepare for service. Several local leaders who had served missions also expressed appreciation for their opportunity to serve.

Three early Argentine missionaries, Elders Roberto Antonietti, Antonino Gianfelice and Jose Pedro Alvarez, attended the meeting.

After the addresses, missionaries held brief mission reunions. The area presidency also met with the future missionaries to help strengthen their resolve to serve missions.

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