Visitors from Central and South America Feel God’s Love as They Tour Welfare Square in Salt Lake City

Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 2 November 2017

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlights the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, lead the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Article Highlights

  • Community influencers from Central and South America toured Welfare Square on October 27.
  • Touring the facilities helps visitors feel of Heavenly Father’s love.

While journalists from around the world gathered in downtown Salt Lake City for the Inter American Press Association General Assembly conference held October 27–30, family members and friends of the journalists met at Welfare Square—a modern facility composed of a bakery, cannery, storehouse, and thrift store that provides care for the poor—to learn about the LDS Church’s welfare programs.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, the gathering—held on October 27—provided an opportunity for guests to see the services and welfare facilities of the Church.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

“Welfare Square is like an embassy for the Church,” Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, said. “People from all over the world come here and they learn about the principles that we use.”

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Joining Sister Eubank as a guide was Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. The two women shared the purpose and process of the work that takes place at Welfare Square.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

“It is interesting to think that all of these resources we have come from the faith of people,” Sister Aburto said. “The faith both in sharing their resources and in giving their offerings—paying their tithing, fasting for 24 hours at least once a month, and giving their ‘widow’s mite.’”

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Recognizing that welfare services aren’t duplicated exactly the same way in every locale, Sister Eubank, who in addition to serving in the Relief Society General Presidency works as the director of LDS Charities, said the principles remain the same.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

“Whether you have this kind of brick and mortar or not, you have people who believe in those principles of work,” Sister Eubank said.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

With a tour of Welfare Square and the Bishops’ Central Storehouse, visitors were able to see how the Church is able to help so many in need. Learning how processes work in Salt Lake gave the visitors a glimpse of what is available in their communities.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

For Carolina Canahuati, a visitor from Honduras, seeing the sites in person was a powerful experience.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

“You hear about a lot of things and you read a lot, but to see it in action is incredible,” she said. She added that she thought it was powerful to have people work as part of the process. “If you don’t work for it, you don’t appreciate it.”

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

During the tour, the group learned about the commodities—among them cheese, salsa, peanut butter, and much more. The visit included a sample of cheese and chocolate milk.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

“This place is a well-oiled machine,” said Jorge Anibal Navarro, who is originally from Colombia and now lives in Indiana. “It embodies a love of God and a love of self. Not being a Mormon, you hear so much about the misunderstandings. Seeing this in action—how you donate, contribute, and volunteer—really builds the community.”

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Sister Aburto said a tour through the facilities is one way to feel the Light of Christ and to feel the love Heavenly Father has for His children.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

“As they went through, they felt the Light of Christ,” Sister Aburto said. “They felt His love … and that He uses us as His hands—as instruments—so we can bless the lives of others,” she said. “I am sure [the visitors] will be able to take that light wherever they go to their families and their communities. They will feel His influence in here because this is His place—this belongs to Him. It reflects what He wants from us.”

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

The group—which included visitors from more than nine countries—ended their tour with a service project assembling dry food packets to be distributed in the Salt Lake area.

“These [guests] wouldn’t come if they weren’t interested in doing things for their own people in their own countries,” Sister Eubank said. “They really have sincere interest—they could have done anything with their time in Salt Lake City and they chose to come here. We are just so grateful they would come.”

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

 

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Meant to be an informative experience for community influencers from Central and South America, an event, held on October 27, highlighted the welfare facilities of the Church. Sister Reyna I. Aburto and Sister Sharon Eubank, both of the Relief Society General Presidency, led the tour. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.