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From around the world

Brazil Area: Joseph Smith Square cleaned

CURITIBA, BRAZIL - The Joseph Smith Square that was established here in the early 1980s in honor of the Church's founding Prophet was given a good cleaning by youth of the Curitiba Brazil Portao Stake.

The young men, young women and young single adults washed the lamps, scrubbed the stone monument, swept the square and weeded and trimmed the flowers. They worked under the direction of their stake president, Pedro Brassanini.

Asia Area: Fifth stake organized

HONG KONG - The fifth stake in Hong Kong was organized at a special regional conference held in March at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Elder John K. Carmack of the Seventy and Asia Area president, announced the creation of the Hong Kong Kowloon West Stake to the 2,600 members at the conference. The new stake was formed in a realignment of the existing stakes.

Elder Carmack told the congregation: "These days of uncertainties and concerns in Hong Kong are also the most exciting days in the history of the Church in Hong Kong. We should all thank the Lord that we are permitted to be here to witness the history unfold."

Elder Carmack also said the construction of the Hong Kong Temple is going forward on schedule. His counselors, Elder Kwok Yuen Tai and Elder David E. Sorensen of the Seventy, also participated in the conference.

Philippines/Micronesia Area: Singles enjoy conference

LAS PINAS, PHILIPPINES - Some 80 single adults helped emphasize the importance of preserving the environment recently in the Quezon Province. They visited the city of Lucban, where they made posters about the importance of preserving the environment, heard an address on the subject by the mayor of Lucban, and held a city-wide clean up.

After the service project was completed, the young single adults took a 7 1/2-hour hike in nearby mountain terrain where they trekked to Imelda Falls and back. Afterwards, they concluded their activities with a testimony meeting.

Europe Area: Missionaries unload bedding

ZAGREB, CROATIA - Eight missionaries in this city recently took part in a humanitarian service project. The missionaries unloaded a container that had several tons of donated clothing and bedding intended for those who had lost their homes and possessions in the war.

The container arrived at the port of Rijeka and was brought to Zagreb for distribution, where missionaries volunteered to help. They were assisted by local members Dubravko Zver and Mira Salaj. Once unloaded, the material was delivered to various locations and distributed.

North America Central Area: Serving together builds bridges

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - Members of the Colorado Springs East Stake recently donated more than $1,000 in non-perishable food items to local Catholic and Lutheran charity programs, according to Kathy Ellis, stake director of public affairs.

The food was prepared in the Church's Denver cannery during humanitarian canning efforts, which have helped build friendships, she said.

"We have worked to establish better relations between the faiths of our community for quite a while," she said. "After a while we realized more than luncheons and meetings that serving together to benefit those less-fortunate is the best way for churches to come together."

Canned fruit, vegetables and meat were given to the Martin Luther Homes that provide housing for severely handicapped people, and to a needy family program sponsored by the Holy Apostles Catholic Church.

North America Northwest Area: Heritage week notes anniversary

RICHLAND, WASH. - Latter-day Saints in the Richland, Wash., area recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Church here with "Richland Heritage Week."

According to Dennis W. Wilson, first counselor in the Richland Washington Stake presidency, several hundred members and others attended recent events commemorating the organization of a branch in Richland on Feb. 20, 1944.

The anniversary week included a historical fireside, Primary and Relief Society activities similar to those of the 1940s and 1950s, and a Gold and Green Ball.

The Richland Branch, which originally consisted of 13 members, was organized in 1944 as part of the Northwestern States Mission and was part of the Yakima District when the town grew from a few hundred residents to more than 50,000 during World War II. A stake with two wards and several branches was created from the Richland Branch on June 25, 1950.

North America Northeast Area: Haven for youth created

VERNON, CONN. - Carol Woodbury, director of public affairs for the Hartford Connecticut Region and a public school teacher, helped organize a neighborhood coalition to reduce the influx of gangs in the area. She and members of other faiths helped start a free tutoring program in a neighborhood church.

"We have grave concern for our children who need a safe environment and safe haven," she said. "Our coalition represents a broad cross-section of local religions.

"From five to 35 youths come in for tutoring with school work, and we have volunteers there, many of them educators, who provide individual schooling," she said.

In addition to tutoring for youth, the coalition intends to soon provide parenting classes for adults to help stem the decline in families.

North America Southeast Area: Agree to resist immorality

BATON ROUGE, LA. - Pres. Larry S. Richardson of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Stake and Pres. Max P. Brough of the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission recently met with the Most Reverend Bishop Alfred C. Hughes, the new bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. In the meeting, they agreed to build on common beliefs and to resist the encroachment of immorality in the community.

Bishop Hughes was presented with a miniature of the Danish sculptor Bartel Thorvaldsen's "Christus," a centerpiece of the North Visitors Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

North America West Area: African-American display

OAKLAND, CALIF. - Hundreds of visitors saw a monthlong pictorial display of African-American history at the Oakland Temple Visitors Center that concluded April 3.

The exhibit consisted of two components: LDS black history and black history in general. Featured were famous African-Americans in fields of civil leadership, education, science, arts, literature, entertainment and sports. Included in the exhibit was a cross-section of African-American Mormon pioneers, and portrayals of missionary work throughout West and South Africa, as well as in Haiti, the Caribbean, Dominican Republic, and North and South America.

Curator of the exhibit, Ed Whittingham, president of the Oakland (Calif.) 9th Branch, said creation of the exhibit has been an ongoing project for five years.

"We have added approximately 20 new posters that deal with blacks in Utah and new black members in the Church. About half of the exhibit is Church-related and half is about prominent blacks and their endeavors."

Utah North Area: Choir performs at anniversary

OGDEN, UTAH - The Tri-Valley Choir, composed of 41 single adults from several communities north of Salt Lake City, is celebrating 20 years of singing and service.

Upon request of the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA General Board, the choir performed for the first time in June 1974 for June conference.

Since then, the choir has performed for firesides; for Sunday programs at the Utah State Penitentiary; for Church services; at nursing homes; etc.

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