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Area presidency given a warm reception in meeting with leader

      The presidency of the Philippines/Micronesia Area recently met with Philippines President Fidel V. Ramos to establish relationships and show support for the country's newly elected president, said Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, area president.

      Elder Featherstone and his counselors, Elders Ben B. Banks and Augusto A. Lim, all of the Seventy, met with Pres. Ramos on Sept. 16 in the new government administration building in Manila. President Ramos was installed as the country's president June 25, 1992.During the visit, the area presidency presented President Ramos with a check for 1 million pesos, (41,000 U.S. dollars) to help people who have been displaced by the eruption and aftermath of Mount Pinatubo. About 1 million people were displaced in the disaster, Elder Featherstone explained, and many were left without any personal belongings.

      The area presidency also discussed the contributions the Church makes to the country and the benefits it provides to the Filipino people. The presidency noted that members have contributed 200 tons of clothing in the Philippines to help those in need.

      Elder Featherstone pointed out to President Ramos that the Church responds quickly when catastrophes hit and contributes time and money to build spiritual, ethical, moral, financial and character strengths in the country.

      "We met with him [President RamosT at our request," Elder Featherstone said in a Church News interview. "He was very warm to us. We felt it was a very positive meeting. He wants to have a good relationship with Americans."

      At the end of the visit, which lasted about 30 minutes, Elder Featherstone told President Ramos they would like to present him with a pedigree chart when it is completed. Elder Featherstone then said a prayer for the Filipino people and their president.

      Elder Jovencio Ilagan, area director of temporal affairs; Elder Ambrosio Collado, a regional representative; and Philippines Congressman Raul Deza also participated in the meeting.

      President Ramos told the Church leaders that his aunt has been a member of the Church for some time and is on a mission to the New Zealand Temple.

      President Ramos won the election by popular vote. He was among seven candidates to run for president. Elder Featherstone said the elections will prove to be one of the most significant events to move the Church forward on a solid foundation into the 21st century.

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