Why President Nelson has visited 23 countries since his call as prophet

President Russell M. Nelson will embark on another ministry tour Saturday, Aug. 24 — flying 14,779 miles to five countries in nine days in Central and South America.

Traveling with his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Mary Cook, President Nelson will visit Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil.

Since becoming President of the Church, President Nelson has visited 23 nations/territories and 37 cities, flying 83,000 miles on 6 continents.

I need to be where the people are. We need to bring them the message of the Savior.

There are more than 2.6 million Latter-day Saints, 13 temples and 65 missions in the countries the prophet will visit. President Nelson and Elder Cook are scheduled to meet with government and religious leaders and address members and missionaries during the trip.

Speaking to reporters at the beginning of his first ministry tour in London, England, in April 2018, President Nelson explained his desire to travel internationally.

“The Lord’s message is for everyone,” he said. “This is a global work. Whenever I’m comfortably situated in my home, I’m in the wrong place. I need to be where the people are. We need to bring them the message of the Savior.”

Following is a list of where President Nelson will be on his upcoming tour throughout Latin America.

Credit: Joseph Tolman

Guatemala City, Guatemala

There are nearly 278,000 Latter-day Saints in more than 440 congregations in Guatemala. Missionaries arrived in Guatemala in 1947. There are now six missions and two temples in the country. The Guatemala City Guatemala Temple was dedicated in 1984, followed by the dedication of the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple in 2011.

Bogota, Colombia

There are more than 205,000 Latter-day Saints in 246 congregations in Colombia. The country has five missions and two temples: the Bogota Colombia Temple and the Barranquilla Colombia Temple.

Quito, Ecuador

There are nearly 249,000 Latter-day Saints in Ecuador. The first missionaries entered Ecuador in 1965. There are now five missions and one temple in the country.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

There are nearly 460,800 Latter-day Saints in more than 750 congregations in Argentina. There are 14 missions and two temples in the country.

Brasilia and São Paulo, Brazil

There are about 1.4 million Latter-day Saints in 273 stakes throughout Brazil. The country has 35 missions and approximately 5,300 missionaries serving throughout. The country’s seventh temple, the Fortaleza Brazil Temple, was dedicated June 2, 2019.