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North America Northwest Area: Blood drive succeeds

LAKE OSWEGO, ORE. - The Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross recently honored the Lake Oswego Oregon Stake for having the highest increase in blood drives for the 1986-87 fiscal year. The stake's two blood drives that year averaged 159 pints each, almost double that of the previous year. After receiving the award, the stake held a third blood drive that drew 229 pints of blood. Stake Pres. Thomas D. Cottle said this drive was the best ever in the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area.

North America Southeast Area: Church thanks Scouting

ATLANTA, GA. - Scout leaders from five Atlanta area stakes presented a special plaque to the Greater Atlanta Scout Council, commemorating the Church's 75 years in Scouting. John R. Donnell, council president and national board member, received the plaque. The plaque was designed by Paul Varney, a high councilor from Roswell, Ga.

North America Southwest Area: Youths spruce up downtown

AMARILLO, TEXAS - Fifty youths of the Amarillo stake surprised people in downtown Amarillo as they cleaned up an older section of main street during a recent youth conference. The youths, featured in the local newspaper, swept up broken bottles and painted over graffiti in an effort to refurbish and restore the 100-year-old area. Scott Bingham and Sandi Campsey headed up the effort, said stake member Sharren Giles.

North America West Area: Ground broken for courthouse

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. - As cannon shots reverberated across Old Town Square Jan. 29, dignitaries broke ground for re-construction of the first San Diego courthouse, built by the Mormon Battalion in 1847 and later destroyed by fire. Funds for the project were gathered by a community organization called First San Diego Courthouse Inc. Participating in the ceremony were the Marine Corps Band, modern members of the Mormon Battalion and the Boy Scouts. The ceremony coincided with the anniversary of the coming of the battalion in 1847.

Utah North Area: Elder Bradford speaks to youths

OGDEN, UTAH - Seminary and institute youths nearly filled the Ogden Tabernacle to hear an address by Elder William R. Bradford of the First Quorum of the Seventy and counselor in the Utah North Area presidency at a fireside Feb. 21. Elder Bradford urged the youths to set goals and begin now to work toward receiving the promised "glory in all things" that await the faithful. (D&C 132:19.) He asked for purity in dating and suggested the young women encourage young men to fill missions before marriage.

Philippines/Micronesia Area: Missionaries teach health

BINAN, PHILIPPINES - Under the direction of Pres. E. William Jackson of the Philippines Manila Mission who is a physician, a health fair was recently held here and free medical check-ups were given. Mini-lessons on health and hygiene, food preparation and water purification were taught by Welfare Services missionaries. This and similar programs in rural and urban areas improve the Church's image, and provide many contacts as missionaries proselyte among those who attend the fairs, said Rafael B. Osumo, Metro Manila public communications director.

United Kingdom/Ireland/Africa Area

LONDON, ENGLAND - Seventeen missionaries who served in the England South Mission from 1966-69, and their wives, recently returned from their homes in United States, Switzerland, and France to hold a 20-year-reunion, said Robert M. Hall, reunion committee chairman. The former missionaries held a "zone" meeting and were addressed by former mission Pres. and Sister J.W. Child. Afterward the missionaries renewed acquaintances with converts, and visited and encouraged less-active members to become active.

Asia Area: Branches enjoy new facility

MALANG, INDONESIA - Latter-day Saints in East Java are attending Church in a new meetinghouse that was dedicated Feb. 25. The building accommodates the Malang, Malang Selatan, Surabaya Barat and Surabaya Timur branches, which make up the East Java District. Construction of the building indicates steady Church growth in the Indonesia Jakarta Mission, where the local missionary force doubled last year to 49.

Pacific Area: Personalized books help

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - Baptisms increased 90 percent in December 1987, and 43 percent for the year in the New Zealand Christchurch Mission, said Pres. Dean D. Baxter. He credited much of the increase to the donation to the mission of personalized copies of the Book of Mormon through the Family-to-Family Book of Mormon Program. "Please thank all of the donors for their priceless contribution," he told program directors, and asked, "Can you double the number of books you are sending to our mission?" They could, and the mission will now receive 2,400 books each month.

Mexico/Central America Area: Early-morning seminary starts

GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA - About 500 youths from nine stakes located in and around this capital city attended a special regional seminary meeting Feb. 6, which, among other things, introduced new early-morning classes to the country's seminary program. Bob Gibbons, national public communications director, reported that the early-morning classes "will require some adjustments and sacrifices from these young people who will have to depend on a rather uncertain public transportation system." But, he added, "expressions of dedication and commitment to the new program echoed through testimonies shared in the meeting's closing session."

South America North Area: Sacrifice to visit temple

MOLLENDO, PERU - Temple trips to Lima, Peru, requiring a 21-hour bus ride, have become an early-year tradition for members of a small branch located in this fishing port town in southern Peru. "It's inspiring to see the sacrifices these humble members make to go to the temple," said Pres. James R. Young of the Peru Arequipa Mission. Last year, 38 members from seven families made the long trip from here in a chartered bus. This year, nearly 20 people went, mostly adults returning for a second visit. "Some of these families need to save all year to be able to go to the temple," said Pres. Young.

Brazil Area: `Come unto Christ'

INDAIATUBA, BRAZIL - To help educate residents of this city about the Church's doctrine, a city-wide conference with the theme, "Come Unto Christ," was held here recently. About 100 people attended. Keynote speaker wqas Pres. Sheldon R. Murphy of the Brazil Campinas Mission. the city was opened to missionary work about nine months ago and now has a thriving branch of 50 members.

South America South Area: TV personalities converted

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY - Two well-known television personalities here are among recent converts to the Church. The first, Alex Meissner, is known for his commercials. After his baptism, however, he stopped doing liquor ads. The other convert is Mercedes Bustos, an actress in a popular series. Meissner was contacted by missionaries tracting door-to-door, and Sister Bustos was jogging past a meetinghouse when she dropped in to ask about the activities. Missionaries taught her at her studio between filming seesions.