ESCONDIDO, Calif. — At the request of the LDS Church's First Presidency, Elder Quentin L. Cook — the newest member of church's Quorum of the Twelve — visited areas of wildfire-blackened San Diego County on Saturday to offer words of thanks to volunteers and Guardsmen, and words of hope to those who homes have been devastated by the flames.
He is in the area to preside over the Irvine California Stake conference.
Elder Cook began his tour by visiting the Escondido California South Stake Center, where a unit of the California National Guard is being housed while helping police the fire-ravaged communities. About 50 soldiers gathered in formation in the parking lot to greet Elder Cook, who thanked them for their service. Their commander, Lt. Col. Kurt A. Schlichter, in turn thanked Elder Cook for the church's hospitality.
Elder Cook also greeted and thanked missionaries and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are providing service during the disaster and recovery efforts.
He met members of the Escondido Stake whose homes had been destroyed by the fire and, at the Poway California Stake Center, delivered a message of hope to about half of the 18 member families there who had lost their homes to the fire.
During a tour of the community, he also stopped to thank church volunteers who were wearing bright-yellow "Helping Hands" T-shirts.