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North America Northwest Area: Tithing barn marker placed

REXBURG, IDAHO - A marker is being placed by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers at an 1885 tithing barn erected when tithing was paid in kind. Under the direction of Elgarda Ashliman, the marker also noted that the barn housed the family of Jacob Spori, first head of what is now Ricks College. Born in one of the grain bins in the building was his daughter, Elizabeth Spori Stowell, 100, a resident of Rexburg.

North America Central Area: Family hosts Soviets

LARAMIE, WYO. - The Joe Shumway family of the Laramie, Wyo., 4th Ward, recently hosted two Soviet Union women who came to this country on the Bridges for Peace program to learn more about American lifestyles. After the family entertained with music, Susan Shumway explained how the family functions. "We wanted to show our love for them," said Shumway. "Doing it through song turned out to be an excellent way." The women, Nadezhda Pashinova and Dina Fotina, expressed appreciation for the visit.

Utah South Area: To beautify Manti area

MANTI, UTAH - The second phase of a project to enhance the vicinity of the Manti Temple is underway. The first phase was placement of a bronze statue of "The Mortal Moroni," in a garden near the temple. In the next phase, private funds will be raised to purchase and remodel a home near the temple to use for meetings and seminars. An older hotel nearby would be purchased and razed. "We think of the project as a sacred complex that will enhance the entire area," said Jane Braithwaite, chairman of the Manti Destiny Committee.

Utah North Area: Ward surpasses goal

LOGAN, UTAH - Members of the Logan 29th Ward have made a major contribution in the Churchwide Family-to-Family Book of Mormon program. After setting an annual goal of 2,500 book contributions, the selflessness of ward members surpassed that goal by contribution 2,842 copies with a value of more than $6,400. Many of the book contributions went to the ward's own missionaries and helped them in spreading the message. The majority of the contributions, however, went to missions or missionaries requested by the families contributing them. This year the ward plans to send copies to the areas where there is the greatest need.

North America Northeast Area: Book of Mormon placed widely

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Copies of the Book of Mormon have been placed in more than 10 percent of the homes of the Washington D.C. South Mission area in the past 18 months, said mission Pres. John L. Ward: "The seven stakes in our mission area have each committed to donate 10,000 copies a year," said Pres. Ward. "And almost all of these books are personalized." Pres. Ward said extensive use of the Book of Mormon in missionary contact has proven most effective in his mission, which has perhaps the highest average per capita income of any mission area in the United States.

North America West Area: Facilities for deaf improved

FULLERTON, CALIF. - The Fullerton 7th Branch (deaf) has moved into a new meetinghouse with improved facilities for the non-hearing, said Paul Miller, high council adviser. The close-knit group of 75 meets in a chapel with raised seating so they can see the speaker more clearly. Video monitors give those on the stand a front view of the speaker. Lights replace bells to signal the end of class periods, and the office of Pres. Sorenson has a door light that tells when someone wants to enter. "Many of the converts are young, well-educated people," said Miller. The branch geographically is basically the size of the Anaheim mission, and many members drive 35-40 miles to attend services.

United Kingdom/Ireland/Africa Area: Chorus well-received

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - A chorus of members and missionaries recently provided music in shopping malls and nursing homes in the Johannesburg area. The chorus was received so well that requests for other performances made it necessary for the chorus to divide into smaller groups to perform in more places.

Europe Area: Singles share cultures

BREMERHAVEN, WEST GERMANY - More than 60 single adults participated Jan. 22-23 in a combined German-American "food and dance" activity. Single adults came from the Oldenburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Cuxhaven, Hamburg and Berlin wards and branches, and from the Bremerhaven Servicemen Branch. "The activity was designed to bring the two groups together in a way that would let the single adults learn more about each other and their cultures," said Nathan Parry, one of the activity's organizers.

South America North Area: New district in Ecuador

ESMERALDAS, ECUADOR - A new district containing 1,500 members was formed here Feb. 14 at a conference under the direction of Pres. Fred W. Nelson Jr. of the Ecuador Quito Mission. This city, located on the Pacific coast in northern Ecuador, now has three fast-growing branches - Aire Libre, Central and Norte - and two meetinghouses. Immediately after the conference, 11 people were baptized into the Church, said Pres. Nelson.

Mexico/Central America Area: New district, branches formed

MERIDA, MEXICO - Three new branches and a district have been formed during the past four months in areas where the Church was virtually unknown just a few years ago, said Pres. Aurelio Valdespino O. of the Mexico Merida Mission. A district made up of four branches and 500 Church members was organized in Ciudad Del Carmen, a coastal city in the Mexican state of Campeche. The new branches are in Candelaria and Tulum in the state of Quintana Roo, and on Isla Mujares, an island just off the coast near Cancun.

South America South Area: Children share their fun

SALTA, ARGENTINA - Primary children in the El Tribuno Branch, led by their teachers and leaders, recently visited children of their own age in a nearby orphanage. After delivering sweets and clothing, the Primary children played games with their new-found friends and sang Primary songs for them.

Brazil Area: LDS uninjured in flooding

PETROPOLIS, BRAZIL - Flooding that has left some 150 dead and hundreds more injured or homeless has destroyed one LDS family's home and damaged the homes of four others, according to Petropolis stake Pres. Jose Marcos Dantas Magalhaes. None of the members has been injured. Priesthood leaders were organized under the direction of the stake president and visited the homes of every member in the flooding area, and provided immediate relief supplies. None of the three meetinghouses in Petropolis was damaged, and temporary use of the facilities for flood refugees was offered to the government.

Philippines/Micronesia Area: 1,000 students enroll

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Church Educational System Institute of Religion in Manila has enrolled more students this year than ever before. More than 1,000 students signed up to attend classes, making the Manila institute among the largest in number in the Church. Bruce Lake, CES area director, said the Manila Institute is located in the middle of several universities in downtown Manila that has a student population of more than 600,000. Lake expects the institute to continue growing as Church leaders identify and contact LDS university students. Lake attributes the large enrollment to the Church's rapid growth here. The Church employs 30 full-time institute teachers in the Philippines, all of whom are Filipinos. That's five more than 1987. Lake expects that number of instructors to increase to 35 in 1989.

Asia Area: `Quality' bears fruit

SAPPORO, JAPAN - An emphasis on "quality" Book of Mormon placements by missionaries here in 1987 is apparently bearing fruit in the Japan Sapporo Mission, Pres. Rulon D. Munns said. Some 32,000 copies were placed in the mission last year, almost double the number for 1986. Missionaries were encouraged to make each Book of Mormon placement meaningful and not to strive for quantity alone. Baptisms have been up dramatically in January and February - traditionally slow months for the mission. Pres. Munns estimates more than half of the new converts already had copies of the Book of Mormon from previous contacts with missionaries.