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FROM AROUND THE WORLD

British Isles/Africa Area: Elders re-open country

WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA - Pres. Reed C. Snow of the South Africa Cape Town Mission recently phoned Pres. Dirk Hanekom, president of the Windhoek Branch in Namibia (formerly South West Africa). In their conversation, they learned both had been praying about starting missionary work here after a 10-year absence. Elder Stephen Flowerday and Elder Pierre Jacobs, both South Africans, were soon sent here. They located some less-active members whose records had been lost, and who immediately bolstered the tiny branch. "It is great and marvelous to be engaged in this most important work," said the missionaries.

Asia Area: Thailand gains 3 meetinghouses

BANGKOK, THAILAND - The dedication of three new meetinghouses highlighted Church developments in Thailand during 1987. The meetinghouses serve members of the Bangnaa, Thonburi and Chiang Mai branches. This brings the number of meetinghouses in Thailand to five, said Pres. Floyd B. Weed of the Thailand Bangkok Mission.

Pacific Area: Talk makes the news

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - When Chris Rancie joined his family in a sacrament meeting presentation, it made the news here. Chris is only 3 years old, and having a 3-year-old speak to a congregation was news for the local Bendigo Advertiser, said Ian McLean, public communications director of the Melbourne Australia Fairfield Stake.

Europe Area: District doubles converts

LILLE, FRANCE - Increased missionary success in this part of the Belgium Brussels Mission has increased the membership in the Lille France District by 211 converts this year, said Gerard Giraud-Carrier, regional representative. That is nearly double the previous year, and was accomplished because "there was a great contribution toward missionary work by the members," said Elder Giraud-Carrier.

South America North Area: 2 new missions open

LIMA, PERU - Two new missions are opening in the South America North Area this month, bringing to 13 the total number in this fast-growing area of the Church. The Bolivia La Paz Mission, formed from the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission, opened Jan. 11 with Steven R. Wright of Orem, Utah, as president. The Peru Lima East Mission, formed from the Peru Lima North Mission, is scheduled to open Jan. 25 with Douglas Earl of Moses Lake, Wash., as president.

South America South Area: Members bolster conversions

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - As a result of members working with full-time missionaries, the Buenos Aires Moreno Stake had 30 baptisms during December, according to Pres. Guillermo Daniel Rodriguez. Also, the San Rafael Mendoza District had 20 baptisms during the month, according to Pres. Luis Alberta Lorca. In December, the Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission had 163 baptisms, the highest monthly total since 1982. "Members are getting excited," said Elder Kevin White of the mission.

Mexico/Central America Area: Members helping work

HERMOSILLO, MEXICO - The Church is growing rapidly in the cities of Tijuana (population, 3 million) and Mexicali (population, 1.5 million) largely due to efforts of members, reported Pres. Armando Gaona J. of the Mexico Hermosillo Mission. In 1987, 40 percent of the baptisms in these two cities came directly from member referrals. Overall, there was a 45 percent increase in baptisms over the previous year. "The enthusiasm of the members has been a great help to us," said Pres. Gaona. "It helps us to stretch our small missionary force much farther."

North America Northwest Area: Songfest honors Constitution

POCATELLO, IDAHO - An evening of patriotic music honoring the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution recently was held here, titled "Of These We Sing." A combined chorus of 200 singers performed under the direction of Melba Stocks, stake music director. Displays of colonial minutemen, flags, a ceiling-length replica of the Constituiton, and a large replica of the Liberty Bell added to the production. The program, held at the Pocatello Idaho Central Stake center, helped members sense the importance of freedom, said Phyllis Hyde, stake public communications director.

North America Southeast Area: `Night of Miracles' presented

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - About 750 people attended "A Night of Miracles Around the World," presented recently by the St. Petersburg Florida Stake. The musical, which centered on the events of the birth of the Savior, was directed by Elizabeth Johnston. Included in numbers performed by a 35-voice choir was an original song, with music and lyrics composed by Nancy Robinson and Elizabeth Snow.

North America Northeast Area: Activities win `Spirit' award

KANE, PA. - Activities during the holidays at the Church's Thomas L. Kane Memorial Chapel won the "Christmas Spirit Award" of the Kane Chamber of Commerce, George P. Marchant, president of the Kane Branch, said more visitors than usual visited the chapel to see films and hear local singing groups perform. A float also was entered in the Christmas parade.

North America Southwest Area: `They know we're here'

PLANO, TEXAS - The Primary in the Sherman, Texas, Ward designed and built two floats for Christmas celebrations in their two communities, Sherman and Denison. Both floats addressed the theme, "Christmas Is Christmas Wherever You Are." The first float was a simulated lunar surface with a standing rocket and a "cosmic" Christmas tree. The second float depicted a mother reading stories to children, dressed in costumes of several countries. "We did accomplish what we set out to do, and feel a lot more people in these towns know the Mormons are here," said Phillip Kreaps of the Sherman Ward.

North America West Area: Quarterback passes tips

WALNUT CREEK, CALIF. - San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young recently spoke to about 1,300 youths of the California Oakland Region. He told the youths to live the gospel, and emphasized being honest, moral and making wise decisions. He said the reason parents often put restrictions on their children is because they love them so much.

Utah North Area: Llamas add to Nativity

THAYNE, WYO. - In a 24-minute video portraying the Nativity, members of the Thayne 1st Ward found llamas for the wise men to ride, a local building that looks somewhat like a castle to depict Herod's castle, and shepherds in the field. Non-members and less-active members assisted in the video project, and all said they gained greater insight into the events of the first Christmas, said Marta S. Heap, Primary president.

Utah South Area: Gristmill project continues

GRANTSVILLE, UTAH - A replica "miller's house" has been completed near the Benson Grist Mill restoration site, and work has started on the adjacent Tooele County Garden to enhance tourist possibilities of the area, said Jack Smith, chairman of the project. The Benson Grist Mill was built in 1854 by Apostle Ezra T. Benson, the great-grandfather of President Ezra Taft Benson. President Benson spoke at a July 1986 ceremony at the mill.