“Elder Nelson Visits Six Countries During 15-day Tour of Africa,” Liahona, Apr. 2005, N3–N4
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Presidency of the Seventy, assisted by members of two Area Presidencies, presided over stake and district conferences, taught mission presidents in two seminars, and addressed members and missionaries in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe during a 15-day tour of Africa from November 8–23.
“There is something about the beauty of these African people that doesn’t leave you when you leave the country,” said Elder Nelson. “It is a real privilege to serve them.”
In Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, Elder Nelson dedicated the country for the preaching of the gospel. That afternoon, he addressed about 200 Ethiopian members and their friends.
In Lagos, Nigeria, Elder Nelson presided over the Port Harcourt Nigeria Stake conference, one of 22 stakes in Nigeria, while Elder Bateman traveled to Ghana, where he presided over the Swedru Ghana District conference.
Joining Elder Bateman in Ghana, Elder Nelson addressed about 1,600 members in the Accra Ghana Christiansborg Stake Center, adjacent to the Accra Ghana Temple, on November 16.
In Johannesburg, South Africa, Elder Nelson and Elder Bateman participated in a seminar for mission presidents. Later, Elder Bateman journeyed to Maputo, Mozambique, where he presided over a district conference.
Elder Nelson traveled to Harare, Zimbabwe, where he presided over the Harare Zimbabwe Stake conference. He also observed the Church welfare program at work. In place of the typical landscaping, Church meetinghouses in Zimbabwe are surrounded by garden plots where members plant, cultivate, and harvest their own food.
“It’s absolutely thrilling to see the welfare program at work,” Elder Nelson said, “where nobody is hungry, where nobody receives a dole. They work for what they have.”
Elder Nelson spoke of his love for the African people. “The Church is making a great difference in the lives of people,” he said. “It’s giving light and hope in a world where it’s urgently needed. African members,” he continued, “understand the gospel very well.”
Adapted from Church News, December 4, 2004.