In 1989, as the Soviet Union relaxed travel restrictions, Valtteri Rötsä traveled from Estonia to Finland, met missionaries, and was baptized. He shared the gospel with relatives and friends, and a branch of the Church was soon organized in Tallinn. On April 25, 1990, President Russell M. Nelson, then serving in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dedicated Estonia for the preaching of the gospel in a wooded area above the Lauluväljak amphitheater.
On December 17, 1990, Jaanus Silla was called as a missionary—the first mission call issued to a Soviet citizen. During his mission, Estonia secured its independence from the Soviet Union, and Estonian Saints enjoyed more religious freedom. Over the course of the next 10 years, Estonian members helped translate Church materials and ordinances into their own language, including temple ceremonies, general conference addresses, and the Book of Mormon.
In 1999 the Church held a two-day open house for the Tallinn meetinghouse, the first Church-built meetinghouse in the Baltic States. In addition to the Tallinn Branch, branches have been established in Tartu, Narva, and Pärnu. As they make and keep covenants, Saints in Estonia serve as examples of how to lead committed religious lives in an increasingly secular culture, “holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience” (1 Timothy 3:9).
Official Name: Republic of Estonia/Eesti Vabariik
Largest City: Tallinn
Official Languages: Estonian
Land Area: 45,339 km2 (17,505 mi2)
Church Area: Europe East
Missions: 1 (Part of the Baltic Mission)