Elder Christofferson ministers in 6 European countries in 12 days

Apostle meets with government leaders in Croatia and Hungary as well as members or missionaries in Spain, Germany, Austria and Denmark

In a 12-day ministry through six European countries, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met with government leaders, full-time missionaries, local Latter-day Saints and leaders and employees of the Church’s Europe Central Area.

On Thursday, Feb. 29, in Zagreb, Croatia, Elder Christofferson met with Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Croatia’s minister of culture and media, who was joined by representatives of the government’s Committee for Relations With Religious Communities and its Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

In Zagreb, Elder Christofferson discussed how the Church and its members can contribute to the betterment of society and emphasized humanitarian efforts there since the Church’s 1985 recognition in Croatia, including nearly 200 projects and initiatives over the past 25 years alone that reached an estimated 2 million beneficiaries.

“We spoke about the goals and the interests of the [Croatian] government and found there were several ways we felt we could collaborate especially in helping those who are in great need,” he told the Church’s Europe Newsroom, noting that Croatia has received significant numbers of refugees from the conflict in Ukraine.

Elder Christofferson gives Nina Obuljen Koržinek a book as a gift. A Christus statuette is on the table in front of them.
Nina Obuljen Koržinek, the minister of Culture and Media of the Government of Croatia, receives an inscribed copy of the Book of Mormon from Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Feb. 29, 2024, in Zagreb, Croatia. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The following day in Hungary, the Apostle met with László Kiss, the mayor of Óbuda-Békásmegyer, District III of Budapest. The Budapest Hungary Temple will be located in his jurisdiction, and the mayor expressed his support.

On the ministry, Elder Christofferson was accompanied by his wife, Sister Kathy Christofferson; Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Marcia Nielson; and Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, and his wife, Sister Carol Waddell.

Joining them at various meetings were members of the Europe Central Area presidency — Elder Massimo De Feo, Elder Rubén V. Alliaud and Elder Jack N. Gerard, all General Authority Seventies — and their wives, Sister Loredana De Feo, Sister Fabiana Alliaud and Sister Claudette Gerard.

A church leader is welcomed by a mayor in Budapest.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is welcomed by László Kiss, the mayor of Óbuda-Békásmegyer, on March 1, 2024, in Budapest, Hungary. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Member meetings

Over the Feb. 24-25 weekend, Elder Christofferson presided at two member meetings held at the Madrid Spain Stake Center — a young adult devotional and a tri-stake conference. And on Sunday, March 3, he instructed members of the Vienna Austria and Salzburg Austria stakes in Vienna, with the meeting broadcast across Austria.

On Feb. 24, nearly a thousand young adults gathered for a devotional livestreamed to Spanish-speaking congregations in the Europe Central Area.

A young man takes notes during a devotional.
A young man takes notes during a young adult devotional with Elder D. Todd Christofferson in Madrid, Spain, on Feb. 24, 2024. More than 1,000 attended in person, with the meeting broadcast across the Europe Central Area. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Speaking in Spanish, Elder Christofferson noted the importance of sacrifice and repentance in drawing closer to Jesus Christ. “Christ has our names written in His hands,” he said. “No one is forsaken, no one is left alone. Jesus carries those marks in His hands, the marks of the nails, so He can remember us — always — and prepare us for His heavenly home.”

On Feb. 25, more than 1,000 members of the Madrid Spain Central, North and South stakes attended in person, with an estimated 4,000 more watching an online broadcast.

In her remarks also given in Spanish, Sister Christofferson recalled going to a movie premiere and witnessing the audience’s enthusiastic applause at the end — then realizing the audience was composed of those in various roles and responsibilities in the filming and production.

Church members listen to Elder D. Todd Christofferson speak in a stake conference.
Members and friends of three Madrid, Spain, stakes attend a special conference presided by Elder D. Todd Christofferson on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Without all others, the actors of the movie could not have been successful,” she said. “It is the same in Christ’s Church. I see many working in the background to support the work of the Church. It is very inspiring.”

Elder Christofferson spoke of three simple ways to increase faith — studying the words of the prophets, both living and dead; praying to know God better and to receive His spiritual orientation; and being willing to sacrifice. By doing so, he said, “we will better understand what Jesus Christ did for all mankind.

“It is because of this principle of sacrifice that the Church today has enough resources to build temples in all parts of the world,” he added, acknowledging Church President Russell M. Nelson’s announcement of new temples at general conferences. “The Church keeps building temples throughout the world, and we are opening new missions and new congregations because of the sacrifice of faithful members, including you.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Sister Kathy Christofferson take a group photo with missionaries in Madrid.
More than 400 missionaries serving in the Spain Barcelona, Spain Madrid North and Spain Madrid South missions gather in Madrid for a photo with Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Sister Kathy Christofferson prior to a devotional on Feb. 24, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Missionary meetings

The Christoffersons, Nielsons and Waddells also met with missionaries and mission leaders in five different countries. While many attended in person, those in remote areas participated via online streaming.

The missionary meetings included:

  • Spain Madrid North, Spain Madrid South and Spain Barcelona missions, Feb. 24, in Madrid.
  • Adriatic North Mission, Feb. 29, in Zagreb.
  • Hungary Budapest Mission, March 1, in Budapest.
  • Alpine German-Speaking Mission, March 2, in Vienna.
  • Denmark Copenhagen Mission, March 4, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In Madrid, Elder Christofferson labeled missionaries one of the Church’s most valuable treasures, because of their shared responsibility with the Apostles to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson greets missionaries in Spain.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson greets missionaries serving in Spain who gathered in Madrid to attend a devotional on Saturday, Feb. 24. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“You hold the authority to teach in the name of Jesus Christ,” he said. “You should behave, speak and do everything as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not give anyone any reason to disbelieve the sacred authority you have. They can decide if they want to believe or not, but you need to testify and teach in the name of the Lord, in the best possible way.”

Area meetings

As part of the trip, Elder Christofferson, Elder Nielson and Bishop Waddell also conducted area review meetings with the Europe Central Area presidency and leaders in Frankfurt, Germany; conducted an employee meeting devotional in Frankfurt that was also broadcast across the area; met with the area’s young single adult advisers in Madrid; and conducted an areawide instruction meeting in Vienna with stake, district, mission and temple presidents across the entire Europe Central Area.

Other meetings and visits

Between meetings in Budapest with the mayor and the missionaries, the Christoffersons and Nielsons visited the site of the Budapest Hungary Temple. While in Vienna on March 2, Elder Christofferson did an interview with Markus Veinfurter of Austria National Radio.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson welcomes missionaries to a devotional.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson welcomes missionaries serving in Spain to a devotional in Madrid on Feb. 24, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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