North America Southeast Area
Home teaching importantSANGRE GRANDE, TRINIDAD - Following a great deal of effort by local priesthood holders, the Sangre Grande Branch of the West Indies Mission achieved 100 percent home teaching in June and July. They continued their efforts through August and now are continuing into September, said Elder Marcellus V. Smith.
Elder Smith and his wife, Ellouise, are full-time missionaries of the West Indies Mission assigned to the branch. He said members and other missionaries are working with less-active members. Travel on the island is difficult and expensive, but the extra effort is paying off.
North America West Area
A summer Christmas
SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. - The Relief Society of the Santa Barbara 1st Ward, Santa Barbara California Stake, created a summer Christmas after working for months making handmade items for infants and the elderly.
The Relief Society sisters, accompanied by Santa Claus, delivered infant receiving blankets, youth quilts, wheelchair lap robes and a large quantity of canned goods and staples to the Council of Christmas Cheer, a local community group that provides clothing and food to needy people all year around. Nightgowns and other infant layette items, and adult personal grooming kits, were delivered previously by the LDS women.
Marilyn Orme, ward Relief Society community service chairman, said the Council of Christmas Cheer has no paid director, is totally staffed by volunteers, and gives people the opportunity to choose the items they need. The group's purpose is to help people in the community retain their independence by helping them stay off welfare during financial crisis.
Primary girls, young women and non-member friends also helped the Relief Society in creating and delivering the handmade gifts.
North America Central Area
Branch continues to progress
LINCOLN, NEB. - Three full-time missionaries have recently been called from the year-old Lincoln 5th (Vietnamese) Branch in the Lincoln Nebraska Stake as the branch continues to progress.
The branch was created in June 1991 after 100 Vietnamese were baptized the previous year. The branch's success has been partly because Lincoln is a cluster city for Asian refugees, according to Shauna Valentine, stake public affairs director.
Converts spread the word about the gospel to their families and friends, and many have joined the Church. To assist these families, which include teenage children, the members organized an early morning seminary, as well as English classes, she said.
Some of the young people attended institute classes also.
Tam Vu, the first seminary graduate, has been called to the Utah Salt Lake City Mission. Son Chau has been called to the California San Jose Mission and Matt Mar to the Utah Provo Mission. Matt and his family are serving as stake missionaries in the Vietnamese Branch.
Utah Central Area
Gardening for homeless
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Desiring to help the needy, homeless and less-fortunate, Young Women and Young Men of the Wasatch 6th Ward, Salt Lake Wasatch Stake, have taken to farming.
Blair Malouff, a local businessman, donated a plot of land and is paying the water bill. DeeDee Simer, a gardener, donated her time and expertise by instructing the youth on what to grow, and on soil preparation and planting.
All produce harvested at "the farm" will be donated to a local homeless shelter. In addition, the young women and their leaders are growing and drying flowers that will be made into individual bouquets to decorate a Christmas tree for the annual Festival of Trees in Salt Lake City that benefits charities.
Public sees variety show
HONG KONG - A five-hour variety show with the theme, "Love one Another," was recently held in the Hong Kong Island Stake Center. The event, organized by area public affairs directors, was free to the public.
The variety show included musical performances by Primary children, missionaries, the stake choir, as well as folk dance numbers by the area's Filipino members.
One of the goals of the program was to invite the public into a Church meetinghouse, and help them learn about the Church. Full-time missionaries and Church leaders were available to answer questions. Pictures displayed in the stake center also helped explain Church messages.
Families enjoy pageant
BARRIGADA, GUAM - The Guam District of the Micronesia Guam Mission held a pageant on the Book of Mormon recently. The pageant, entitled, "The Conversion of a King," was held July 24-25 with a special family presentation July 27.
More than 85 non-member families saw the pageant. Missionaries presented them with copies of the Book of Mormon and various pamphlets.
Radio broadcasts message
FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - Missionaries of the Brazil Fortaleza Mission were invited by the Dragao Do Mar Radio Station to explain the Church and its message on a recent radio program.
Following the program, the missionaries gave copies of the Book of Mormon to employees of the radio station.
Colony centennial noted
COLONIA OAXACA, MEXICO - Commemorating the centennial of the founding of Colonia Oaxaca, the first Mormon colony in Sonora, descendants of its settlers returned to the site of the early colony.
In 1892, Mormon colonists arrived at the site that became Colonia Oaxaca. The colony was later abandoned after a flood destroyed much of the town.
At the colony site, inhabited now by just a few local residents, Tom Haymore, Ron and Ronnie Higginbotham, and Chad Jones from St. David, Ariz., all descendants of original settlers, located wagon tracks carved into the granite by the colonists to hold the wagons onto a steep incline.
"What a thrill it was to see the ruts, and know that our ancestors had traveled on them on their way to Church conferences and other meetings held in Colonia Juarez," said Ron Higginbotham. The road was later used by the government but has not been used in recent years.
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