President and Sister Nelson Set for Ministry Tour to South America
Contributed By Scott Taylor, Church News Managing Editor
Fresh off of October general conference, President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, are set to travel to South America later this month, with the trip culminating in the dedication of the Concepción Chile Temple.
Joining the Nelsons on the nine-day, five-country trip—set for October 19–28—will be Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Lesa Stevenson.
In addition to holding meetings with members and missionaries in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile, President Nelson and Elder Stevenson are scheduled to meet with government and religious leaders during their travels.
South America is home to more than 4 million Latter-day Saints as well as 17 of the Church’s operating temples and 94 missions.
The itinerary includes:
Saturday, October 20—Lima, Peru: An afternoon missionary meeting will be broadcast to all missionaries serving in the region, followed by an evening devotional with members and friends. Set for Lima’s Coliseo Mariscal Caceres, the devotional will be broadcast to meetinghouses throughout Peru.
With the Church first organized in Peru in 1956, the country is now home to nearly 600,000 members and a pair of operating temples in Lima and Trujillo. Construction is ongoing for a temple in Arequipa, with a second Lima temple announced for the Los Olivos area.
Sunday, October 21—La Paz, Bolivia: An evening devotional at Polideportivo Heroes de Octubre will be broadcast to meetinghouses in Bolivia.
The country counts more than 203,000 Latter-day Saints in 255 congregations and the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple in the five-plus decades since missionaries first arrived in 1964.
Monday, October 22—Asunción, Paraguay: An afternoon meeting with missionaries of the country’s two missions—the Paraguay Asunción and Asunción North Missions—will be followed by an evening devotional in the city’s Conmebol Convention Center.
The country’s first convert in 1948 has led to a Church membership of more than 93,000. The Asunción Paraguay Temple, which was dedicated in 2002, is currently closed for renovations.
Thursday, October 25—Montevideo, Uruguay: Again, the leaders will have a pair of meetings—an afternoon session with the missionaries of the Uruguay Montevideo and Montevideo West Missions and an evening member devotional at the city’s Landia Complex, the latter to be broadcast throughout the country.
The Church’s roots in Uruguay date back to the first congregation in 1944, with a current membership of nearly 105,000 Latter-day Saints as well as the Montevideo Uruguay Temple.
On Sunday, October 28, President Nelson will preside over the dedication of the new temple—including the cornerstone ceremony and three dedicatory sessions—before the Nelsons and Stevensons return to Salt Lake City. The temple is the country’s second after the Santiago Chile Temple, which was dedicated in 1983 and then rededicated in 2006 following renovations. Nearly 600,000 Church members comprise more than 600 congregations in Chile, with the Church first organized there in 1956.
The Concepción Chile Temple, which will become the Church’s 160th operating temple, will be the first temple dedicated since President Nelson was set apart as Church President in January 2018. The most recent temple dedication was the , dedicated on December 10, 2017, by President Henry B. Eyring, then the First Counselor in the First Presidency. (See related story.)
President Nelson has dedicated one temple previously, presiding over the August 21, 2016, dedication of the Sapporo Japan Temple when he was President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. (See related story.)
The Concepción Chile Temple.