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Saints celebrate first stake formed in Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda — Smiles on the faces of the saints in Kampala, Uganda, rivaled the bright colorful gomesi (traditional dresses) the sisters were wearing as they gathered on Sunday, Jan. 17, to witness the organization of the first stake in Uganda. Almost 1,000 members met at the Kololo meetinghouse to sustain Jimmy Carter Okot as the new stake president, with Charles Ssekirangi and Jackson Isiko as his counselors. Elder Paul E. Koelliker of the Seventy and president of the Africa Southeast Area presided at the historic meeting, which was conducted by Elder Hesbon O. Usi, Area Seventy.

A spirit of joyful anticipation was also evident the preceding day when priesthood and auxiliary training meetings were held with record numbers in attendance. The organization of the stake in Uganda, the 25th stake in the Africa Southeast Area, had been long anticipated by the members, some of whom had been baptized in the mid-1990s.

Encouragement was received in August 2009 when Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve visited Kampala and remarked to the large congregation of members who had come to hear him speak that they "looked like a stake" to him (see Church News, Sept. 5, 2009).

As the stake conference session began, Rosemary Mufabi, Kololo Ward Relief Society president, remarked, "My heart is so full of joy today."

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This story is provided by the LDS Church News, an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is produced weekly by the Deseret News.