“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Sept. 1999, 77
The Church’s first meetinghouses in two nations were recently constructed. In Athens, Greece, Elder Charles Didier of the Seventy, President of the Europe East Area, dedicated a new meetinghouse before about 200 onlookers, including an estimated 40 investigators. Three of Greece’s four branches—Halandri, Ilisia, and Pireaus—are meeting in the new building; the fourth branch is located in the city of Thessaloniki. In Antananarivo, Madagascar, Elder Dennis E. Simmons of the Seventy, President of the Africa Southeast Area, dedicated a new meetinghouse before a congregation of about 600. The new building is home to two wards and also includes the mission home and offices for the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission. In the United States, Alaska’s first seminary building was recently dedicated near a high school in Chugiak, a suburb of Anchorage.
Where three rivers converge near Iquitos, Peru, heavy rains led to flooding during June that directly affected some 200 member families. No damage was caused to Church property, and fast-offering funds were used to buy food for member families. Also in June, a 6.7 earthquake killed 15 people and caused major damage to a few buildings in Puebla, Mexico, with minor damage reported from Veracruz to Mexico City. No significant damage to member homes was known to have occurred, and no Church property was affected.
At Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Welfare Square has been expanded by nearly two acres and is undergoing major construction and renovation. A 50,000-square-foot milk-processing plant called Deseret Dairy was recently completed, and construction plans are going forward on a 22,000-square-foot cannery. Other areas undergoing modifications and improvements include the Deseret Industries store, the granary, the employment center, the bishops’ storehouse, and building exteriors and grounds. A new bakery has already begun operation. As the Church’s flagship humanitarian facility, Welfare Square is a source of temporal aid for needy people throughout the world.