SANTIAGO, Chile Appreciation for two years of service in Chile by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland, was personally expressed by Chile President Ricardo Lagos and his wife, Luisa Duran de Lagos, July 6 as the Hollands met with them at La Moneda, the Chilean equivalent to the White House.
Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve lived in Chile August 2002-early July 2004 while he served as president of the Chile Area.
At the brief meeting, gifts were exchanged, the new Chile Area presidency was introduced, and President Lagos was invited to visit Church headquarters in Salt Lake City.
Elder Holland thanked the president and his wife for their hospitality while in Chile, and President Lagos thanked Elder Holland for the Church's moral and value-based teachings, and for the humanitarian contributions the Church has regularly donated to Chileans.
Introduced to the president and his wife were Elder Francisco J. Vias, the incoming area president, and his wife, Cristina, and Elder Oscar W. Chavez, second counselor, and his wife, Lorena. Elder Carl B. Pratt, first counselor in the Area Presidency, and his wife, Karen, were in Salt Lake City at the time of the visit.
Elder Holland promised that the Church would continue to work with the Chilean government "wherever we can be of service in blessing the Chilean people and helping those who are in need to improve the quality of their lives."
Elder Holland gave a porcelain statue of a sea gull with his invitation to President and Mrs. Lagos to visit Salt Lake City. He was given a framed native fabric crafted by the Mapuche people who are indigenous to Chile. Sister Holland was given a beautiful, traditional shawl, also typical of Chile.
"No head of state could be kinder or more hospitable to us personally, or to the Church's interest in Chile," said Elder Holland. "We feel indebted to President and Mrs. Lagos for their unfailing graciousness. We consider them dear personal friends and hope to host them in Utah soon."