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South America North Area: Church grows in border town

GUAJARA-MIRIM, BOLIVIA - Sister missionaries Bebby Echalar and Sobeido Ferrufino, both from Bolivia, have had unusual success during the past three months in this jungle town on the Brazilian border, bringing dozens of people into the Church. In fact, said Pres. Harrell G. Fallis of the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission, "they have brought so many people into the Church, we had to send in another pair of missionaries to help them keep up with all the work."

Mexico/Central America Area: Benemerito graduates 400

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - More than 400 students graduated from the Church-operated Benemerito de las Americas High School in ceremonies June 18 at the school's auditorium. Elder Gardner H. Russell of the First Quroum of the Seventy and a counselor in the Mexico/Central America Area presidency, and J. Elliot Cameron, Church commissioner of education, attended and spoke at the commencement exercises. The graduation capped a weekend of festivities, which featured a performance by the school's well-known "Benemerito Folk Ballet."

Brazil Area: Referrals from sales clerks

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - Two members working in a clothing store introduced the missionaries to more than 120 people in a single month recently, and 20 have been baptized. Neiva Iara Euclair Machado and Fabianana Fagundes hold a devotional each morning at the store for employees before the work day begins. In addition, as customers shop in the store during the day, the two clerks mention their membership in the Church. Those who express interest about the Church are invited to meet with missionaries. The pair has been given permission by the store owners to mention the Church.

South America South Area: Leaders learn to fight drugs

TRELEW, ARGENTINA - About 60 branch and youth leaders in the Trelew District recently participated in an anti-drug seminar, presented by Chubut Province police. The leaders were trained by police to recognize illegal drugs and learned the unfortunate results of drug use. The seminar opened doors for the Church to participate more fully with the community in the future, said Jorge Esteban Detlefsen, district public communications director.

United Kingdom/Ireland/Africa Area: Young Ambassadors perform

LONDONDERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND - The BYU Young Ambassadors, in their first visit to this country, captivated audiences here June 7 with performances of Broadway dances and music. "From the beginning to the end, the audience was captivated by the genuine warmth and professionalism of the performers," said J. Rory McCune, public communications director for the Belfast Northern Ireland Stake. "Church members and non-members alike were encouraged to reach for their dreams and to look for the good news in the world."

Europe Area: Training preparing leaders

PORTO, PORTUGAL - More than 650 local Church leaders, some from as far away as the Azore Islands, 1,000 miles from Portugal, gathered June 25 in Lisbon and July 2 in Porto for leadership training meetings. Elder Carlos E. Asay, president of the Europe Area, presided over the training meetings, which were needed because of the 500 baptisms per month in Portugal. The local leaders are faced with the challenge of assimilating about 125 new members monthly into each of three stakes, and another 100 throughout four districts. Elder Asay had high praise for the quality of training carried out by local leaders. "In my years of Church service, I haven't seen any better," he said. "It was magnificent."

Philippines/Micronesia Area: Home for seminary/institute

BAGUIO, PHILIPPINES - The first Church building in the Philippines constructed to house a ward and a seminary and institute program was recently completed here. One floor of the four-story building will serve more than 200 students now enrolled in the Baguio institute, while the other three floors will house a Baguio ward. Bruce Lake, Church Educational System zone administrator, said several other combination ward-and-seminary/institute buildings are under construction throughout the Philippines. The country has 5,829 seminary and 5,746 institute students, with 40 full-time instructors.

North America Northeast Area: Primary conference in Ontario

ETOBICOKE, ONTARIO - Nearly 200 Primary workers and priesthood leaders from seven stakes and districts gathered here recently for the first Regional Primary Conference in Ontario. Betty Jo Jepsen, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, was keynote speaker at the daylong event, which was the culmination of a year of planning by the Toronto Ontario and Hamilton Ontario stakes.

North America Southeast Area: Columnist notes 10th year

LAKE CITY, FLA. - For the past 10 years, LaViece Smallwood has written a newspaper column in the Florida Times-Union and the Jacksonville Journal about family history research. She began writing the column in August 1978. As public communications director in the Lake City Florida Stake, she won the award of merit from the National Genealogical Society in 1981. She is also active in writing county history.

North America Southwest Area: Father ordains four sons

PAGE, ARIZ. - Four sons of Austin and Neta Thatcher of the Page 2nd Ward were ordained to four different priesthood offices on the same day. On July 3, four of the 10 sons were ordained by their father. They were Jeremy, an elder; Ryan, a priest; Jared, a teacher; and Jason a deacon. The oldest of the 10 Thatcher sons, Austin, is serving a mission in Texas.

North America Central Area: Anti-gambling videos used

FARGO, N.D. - For the second time in two years, citizens of this state defeated a proposal for a lottery on June 14. Janet Kruckenburg, public communications director of the Fargo North Dakota Stake, said copies of the Church's anti-gambling videos, "Times and Seasons - Gambling," were distributed to 20 leaders of churches in the state through the North Dakota Council on Gambling Problems and other organizations involved in the anti-lottery campaign. Church-produced videos were also distributed last year, she said.

North America Northwest Area: Ward helps migrants

SALEM, ORE. - When Mike Huerta discovered several migrant farm workers living in a corrugated metal building north of Salem, Ore., he called the Keizer (Ore.) 1st Ward for help. The workers had been deserted in early June by a labor contractor and were without jobs or food. The local newspaper reported that Church members donated food and blankets. "They managed, often out of their own pockets, to feed the workers throughout the past week," wrote Steven P. Jackson in the Salem Statesman-Journal. "But their resources were growing thin." Other churches and businesses in the community became involved to assist the migrant workers. Ed Dahle of the Keizer 1st Ward coordinated efforts to feed the workers. Later, jobs were found for many of the workers.

North America West Area: Community finds family `faire'

STOCKTON, CALIF. - More than 300 people participated in a recent "Family History Faire" held in the Stockton California Stake. About 200 of the visitors were not members of the Church, said Carolyn Abbott, stake public communications director. At the fair, the San Joaquin Genealogy Society displayed a time line depicting the valley's history. Also displayed were such items as heirloom quilts, computers and family history software. Visitors were also taken on a tour of the meetinghouse.

Utah South Area: Pines donated to Temple Hill

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Gary Bringhurst of the Butler 12th Ward in Salt Lake County recently donated 200 Scotch pines to replace those planted on Manti's Temple Hill, but which didn't survive. Bringhurst, a general contractor who raises the trees to earn money for the Church's missionary fund. Money earmarked by the Manti Temple Centennial Committee for new trees was subsequently donated to the missionary fund.