Austrian ambassador tours history facility

Helmut Tuerk, Austrian ambassador to the United States, came to Utah for a skiing vacation, but, once he learned of the Church's extensive collection of family history records, he took time out to visit the Church's Family History Library.

"It was interesting," Dr. Tuerk said of the tour, "but we didn't have enough dates of ancestors to search too far into our ancestry."The weeklong visit to Utah, Feb. 14-20, was the ambassador's third visit to the state. It was a trip originally organized at the invitation of Utah Gov. Michael O. Leavitt, who had visited the Tuerks in their home in the scenic Salzkammergut lake region of Austria.

But after arriving in Salt Lake City, Dr. Tuerk and his wife, Monika, altered their itinerary to include a tour of the Family History Library and the Church's granite vaults in Little Cottonwood Canyon, east of Salt Lake City.

"Mrs. Tuerk showed particular interest in family history," said Franz Kolb, deputy director of international business development for Utah who hosted the ambassador.

Following a luncheon hosted by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Seventy, staff members from the Family History Department as well as Church host missionaries offered to help Mrs. Tuerk with her family research.

In addition to touring the Family History facilities, the Tuerks attended the weekly broadcast of the Tabernacle Choir.

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