Elder John Hepworth said he and his wife, Caryl, had a lesson in geography during their nearly 2 1/2-year mission at the Hawaii Temple Visitors Center.
"We had visitors from virtually every country in the world," said Elder Hepworth, who until the end of February was director of the visitors center here.He and Sister Hepworth began their mission in October 1990. He was succeeded by Elder Mark L. Angus, who is now serving with his wife, Marilyn.
Sister Hepworth explained, "We kept a list of countries where visitors came from when we first arrived."
Her husband added, "I used an atlas to determine that we had visitors from nearly every country. We had visitors from Pacific island nations that I didn't know existed. And we had visitors from Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Albania and many eastern European countries.
"We had people from China, Vietnam, Laos, and from the African countries and on and on. It was incredible. I didn't believe we would have that diverse a group." He said that visitors tell him, "I don't know why we came. We were just drawn here."
The visitors center is staffed by three missionary couples, including the visitors center director and his wife, and 14 sister missionaries.