Around the Church


Apostle Dedicates New MTC in Philippines

The Philippines Missionary Training Center, which Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated on May 20, 2012, can house up to 144 missionaries from the Philippines, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. These missionaries are trained in the languages of their home countries.

The new center’s two buildings contain an auditorium, translation booths, a computer lab, a laundry area, teaching rooms with built-in audiovisual equipment, sleeping quarters for the missionaries, classrooms, and offices.

In offering the prayer to dedicate the new facility, Elder Nelson expressed gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and for faithful missionaries and Church members worldwide who love and serve the Lord. He asked for a blessing upon the Republic of the Philippines to “maintain open doors of welcome” to all the Lord’s servants and prayed that the nation’s people will be blessed with “freedom and accountability to grow in righteousness, both temporally and spiritually.”

Manaus Brazil Temple Is Church’s 138th Worldwide and Sixth in Brazil

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Manaus Brazil Temple—the Church’s 138th worldwide and sixth in Brazil—on June 10, 2012.

The faith and commitment of Latter-day Saints living in Brazil, where there are more than one million members, can be likened to the Amazon River, President Uchtdorf said—both flow deep and strong.

For almost 20 years, Church members from Manaus, a city isolated by major rivers and rainforests, have been traveling by caravan to attend the temple in São Paulo, Brazil—a 15-day round-trip journey by boat and bus—and later the temple in Caracas, Venezuela—an 8-day journey by bus.

Elder Claudio R. M. Costa of the Seventy served as the president of the Brazil Manaus Mission when it opened in 1990.

“I have a trust that the Manaus Temple will be very busy, every single day, because these people love the temple,” Elder Costa said. “They teach their children to love the temple. The temple is very precious to them.”

Samoan Church Members Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Independence, First Stake

On Friday, June 1, 2012, some 350 Latter-day Saints in Samoa joined with other Samoans to march in an independence celebration parade through the streets of Apia. Fifty years ago, in 1962, the country gained its independence from New Zealand.

Organizations, schools, local churches, and international organizations took part. Latter-day Saint students entertained the tens of thousands of onlookers with their marching band.

But the weekend included another point of celebration for Latter-day Saint Samoans; it was also 50 years ago that the first stake was organized in the country, in Apia.

On Sunday, June 3, Elder James J. Hamula and Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy, both members of the Pacific Area Presidency, spoke to Latter-day Saints and guests in a special meeting that was broadcast to LDS meetinghouses across the nation.

Looking ahead, Latter-day Saints in Samoa aim to continue to serve and strengthen their families, villages, and nation, said Elder Hamula, who serves as Area President. “We are growing wonderfully as a Church here, and we are growing in our families and personal lives as we seek to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ,” he said.