Friedrich Hoess, Austrian ambassador to the United States, visited Utah recently, meeting with Church leaders, Utah Gov. Norman Bangerter, and members of the business community. He also toured Brigham Young University.
"The United States is too big to just have relations with Washington," Hoess said Friday, March 15, explaining his visit to the Beehive State.Ambassador Hoess met with President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the the First Presidency, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve on March 13.
The ambassador said he was well aware of the Church's strong missionary effort in Austria and that he is amazed how missionaries can go away with such fond memories of his country, despite the numerous Austrians who close doors in their faces.
"I admire the missionaries," Ambassador Hoess said. "They're real good Christians."
He also explained that he likes the idea of foreign, especially North American, missionaries proselyting in his country because it gives them the moral feeling that Austria does indeed belong to the West.
Mr. Hoess also met with BYU Pres. Rex Lee in Provo on March 14, and said he was especially impressed with the computer-aided, accelerated language training that missionaries undertake at the Missionary Training Center.