Rapid pace across South America

President Gordon B. Hinckley swept across South America Aug. 7-14, visiting four nations and delivering 12 addresses to about 56,000 members and missionaries. In two of the four nations - Paraguay and Ecuador - his addresses were believed to be the first ever by a Church president. He was interviewed by reporters of two newspapers and five television stations.

Keeping up with the rapid pace he has maintained since he became president of the Church, President Hinckley spoke to nearly 250 missionaries, 1,264 priesthood leaders and more than 11,000 members in three meetings at a regional conference in Montevideo, Uruguay, Aug. 9-10.On Aug 10, he spoke to some 7,120 missionaries, leaders and members in regional conference in a single meeting in Asuncion, Paraguay.

The next day, on Aug. 11, he visited the construction site of the Guayaquil Ecuador Temple and spoke to 420 missionaries of the Guayaquil North and South missions and at a fireside to 15,000 members in two meetings.

On Aug. 12, President Hinckley addressed nearly 250 missionaries and 8,350 members in separate meetings in Quito, Ecuador.

Traveling to Valencia, Venezuela, on Aug. 13, he spoke to about 200 missionaries and 11,000 members in two meetings.

President Hinckley was accompanied on the South American trip by his wife, Marjorie, and by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and his wife, Dantzel. Local members of area presidencies met the group and conducted the various meetings.

Elder Nelson, who delivered his addresses in Spanish, described the trip as "a glorious experience. President Hinckley has an earnest desire to be with the people, and with his visit to these four countries, he has now visited all the countries of South America where we have a significant organization of members.

"He was blessed by the Lord. I saw him respond to inspiration and give eloquent expression that were a thrill to behold. He gained strength throughout the journey and was greatly blessed in every way.

"The members were thrilled to see the prophet of the Lord, but they were very reverent, quiet and reserved. All through those meetings, there was deep reverence.

"His visit will have lasting effect, not only on the 56,000-plus people he spoke to, but also on their families and upon generations unborn. There will be no limit to the amount of good that was accomplished in his short but impactful journey to South America."

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