“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Sept. 2000, 79–80
Members Celebrate 75th Anniversary of Church in South America
South American Saints are commemorating this year the 75th anniversary of the dedication of their continent for missionary work. Celebrations have included special firesides and service projects. Coinciding with the anniversary, Uruguay’s 100th meetinghouse was recently dedicated in the Real Branch, Colonia Uruguay District.
On Christmas of 1925, Elder Melvin J. Ballard (1873–1939) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated South America and created the South American Mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Elder Ballard later prophesied, “The work of the Lord will grow slowly for a time here just as an oak grows slowly from an acorn. [But] the day will come when the South American Mission will become a power in the Church.”
South American membership has now swelled to nearly two and a half million, with more than 65 missions and 540 stakes.
800 Participate in Oregon Service Project
Some 750 members of the Oregon City stake—from Primary children to the elderly—joined with 50 members of other faiths to give community service in June. The group completed a wide variety of projects, including creating two community centers, cleaning and renewing three local schools, clearing weeds from two pioneer cemeteries, assembling hygiene kits for domestic violence shelters, and making baby booties, toys, and wall hangings for orphanages.
“It’s been marvelous,” said Reverend Stan Hoobing, pastor of a local Lutheran Church, who received assistance from dozens of LDS teens in converting an old school dormitory into a community center. “I learned that Latter-day Saints are very compassionate and caring.”
What the stake calls its “Neighbor to Neighbor” day was the beginning of what will be a continuing tradition of service, said stake president Eugene Trone. Each year, stake members will rotate to a different community within different ward boundaries until all eight communities or ward areas of the stake have been served. “It’s been a great reactivation and missionary tool,” said second counselor Larry Blunck. “We personally invited less-active and part-member families to participate, and not one person said no.”
President Blunck said the project has created goodwill in the community and has greatly unified members of the stake. “We chose a variety of projects so that everyone, even young children and the elderly, could participate. All that anyone can talk about now is how enjoyable the project was.”
British, Canadian Saints Help Church Send Wheat to Horn of Africa
After the United Nations made an international plea in behalf of eight million Ethiopians and Eritreans facing starvation, Church shipments of wheat were among the first relief supplies to arrive in the drought-stricken countries. The timely response was made possible by members of five stakes in England, who in June quickly bagged wheat grown by a Church-owned farm in Cambridge.
British members bagged and loaded most of the 4,000 tons of wheat, said Clive R. Jolliffe, president of the Northampton England Stake.
Half the cost of the wheat’s shipment came from a humanitarian fund set up by the Church to receive donations of members in Canada; the Cambridge farm covered the other half.
Two missionary couples in Ethiopia participated in distribution.