Fifty full-time missionaries in Nicaragua were withdrawn from the country in September as violence broke out between government and insurgent forces. Thirty-seven of the missionaries were withdrawn by September 15, and the remaining thirteen were out of the country by September 20. They went to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for reassignment within the Costa Rica San Jose Mission, which includes Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

The missionaries remaining after September 15 were instructed to remain in their apartments, and efforts were made to contact them by amateur radio and through the Red Cross. Some missionaries were evacuated with the assistance of Peace Corps volunteers.

Two new mission presidents and a new temple presidency have been announced by the First Presidency. Harold Wilcken Pratt, Jr., of Tacoma, Washington, has been called to preside over the Texas San Antonio Mission. He succeeds Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who has directed the mission since 1976.

Albert V. Stirling of Salt Lake City will preside over the New Zealand Wellington Mission, succeeding Rudolph H. Luckau, who died in July shortly after beginning his mission assignment.

Wendell G. Eames of Silver Spring, Maryland, has been called as president of the Washington, D.C., Temple. His counselors are Byron F. Dixon of Arlington, Virginia, and Clyde Elmer Black of Kensington, Maryland. President Eames’ wife, Nedra Cole Eames, will serve as temple matron. President Eames succeeds Edward E. Drury, Jr., of Kensington, who had served for five years.

The 650 residents of Stirling, Alberta, Canada—eighty percent of them members of the Church—were forced to evacuate their homes September 11 when five butane-loaded railway cars derailed nearby. Residents of the pioneer Mormon community received food and shelter at the Raymond Alberta Stake Center and returned to their homes the next day.

The First Presidency has again sent a message of condolence to millions of Catholics mourning over the recent death of a pope. After serving as pope only thirty-four days, Pope John Paul I died September 28. The First Presidency message said:

“We share the worldwide shock at the sudden passage of Pope John Paul I and express our heartfelt sorrow to all who looked to him for spiritual leadership. In the brief days of his papacy, and during his long service to his church, he radiated exemplary warmth and goodness which are sorely needed everywhere and will be deeply missed.”

Telegrams invoking the blessings of God on peace negotiations were sent to Israeli, Egyptian, and United States leaders early in September by the First Presidency. Messages sent to United States President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin as they negotiated at Camp David, Maryland, said:

“We join you in asking our people and men and women of all faiths to join in prayers that divine wisdom guide your deliberations and decisions.” The leaders reached an agreement September 17.

Twenty-seven Saints and friends met in August for a Polish conference of the Church. Conducting the conference at Szczecin, Poland, were President Fryderyk Czerwinski and his counselors, S. Borsczow and R. Rochmankoski. Elder Matthew Ciembronowicz represented the International Mission. Presiding was Elder James E. Faust of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, now a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Members of the Church who wish to have their Polish relatives learn about the Church may have them contact President Czerwinski, U1. Rosenbergow 31, 71-030 Szczecin, Poland. Phone 71-030.

Two educational films produced by Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah, have received awards for excellence. Honored at the September 1978 Information Film Producers of America conference at Vail, Colorado, were “The Mailbox” and “The Write Move,” which received first and second-place awards, respectively.

Applications are open until December 1 for the sixth annual Commissioner’s Research Fellowship. Latter-day Saint scholars both within and outside the Church Educational System may apply, says Jeffrey R. Holland, Church commissioner of education. Focus of the fellowship usually is in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts, since these research areas are less easily funded from other sources. Priorities go to research which would be applicable to Church programs and to the Church Educational System.

Although research fellowships are normally for one academic year, they may be extended if justified by the study. Scholars working outside the Church Educational System should apply directly to the Commissioner’s Research Fellowship, Church Educational System, 50 East North Temple Street, 9th Floor, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. Other applicants should apply through the president of their Church Educational System institution.

Applications should describe the project’s scope, proposed budget, expected completion time, and justification, and the scholar’s qualifications.

Latter-day Saints seem to be good mothers—if Mother-of-the-Year contests are any indication. Three Latter-day Saint women are among contestants for the 1978 Mother of the Year; a Utah woman is in competition for Young Mother of the Year; and a Nevada woman has been named Outstanding Young Mother for Nevada.

The three Mother-of-the-Year contestants are Genevieve Asay Smith of Henderson, Nevada; Ruth Hammond Barrus of Sugar City, Idaho; and Margaret Church Callister of Delta, Utah. Michele Moulton Meservy of Orem, Utah, is a contestant for 1978 Young Mother of the Year. Penny Smith Taylor, daughter of Genevieve A. Smith, mentioned above, has been named Nevada’s Outstanding Young Mother of the Year.

You might say that LaMar Terry lets his light shine. The lighting designer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brother Terry has illuminated some famous sites. He designed lighting for the Statue of Liberty for the United States Bicentennial, Independence Hall, the Tower of Light at the World’s Fair, the interior of the Washington Temple, Henry Kissinger’s office at the White House, and numerous museums.

Right now he is working on a Christmas creche display for the East Room of the White House. He and his wife, opera singer Evelyn Russell, and their daughter, are members of the Rego Park Ward, Plainview New York Stake. Brother Terry’s son also is letting his light shine—as a missionary in the Washington Seattle Mission.

This five-story stake center in Kowloon, Hong Kong, may not look like most stake centers; but it has the same functions. The building houses Church facilities for the Hong Kong Stake, which includes Kowloon, the island of Hong Kong, and part of the Tsan Wan territories. The top two floors of the building, reached by an elevator, include cultural hall and kitchen facilities. The chapel is on the third floor, along with classrooms and offices for the stake presidency and bishoprics. On the second floor are classrooms and multipurpose rooms. Parking and more classrooms are on the ground floor. Much of the interior is in teakwood. Members of the Church have been using the building for about one year.