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Church News Archive 2005

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[Historic milestones for Church in Colombia] [U.S. missionaries leave Venezuela] [Changes made in Presidency of the Seventy] [Historic trip] [Glamour to grammar] [New temple presidents] [New stake presidents] [New and returning Mission Presidents for 122 missions] [New stake presidents] [ New mission presidents ] [New stake presidents] [Church News: Obituaries]

Saturday, December 10, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z05

Historic milestones for Church in Colombia

  • May 1966 — Elders Randall Harmsen and Jerry Broome of the Andes Mission arrive in Bogota and begin missionary work.
  • Dec. 6, 1966 — The Colombian government grants the Church legal status.
  • 1968 — The Colombia-Venezuela Mission is created.
  • Jan. 23, 1977 — Colombia's first stake is created in Bogota.
  • March 5, 1977 — President Spencer W. Kimball visits Colombia and presides over an area conference in Bogota.
  • Jan . 25, 1999 — A devastating earthquake rattles the mountain city of Armenia, killing 920 people (including three Church members). The Church responds with relief supplies.
  • April 24, 1999 — President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicates the Bogota Colombia Temple. He calls the dedication "the greatest event in the history of Colombia."
  • Dec. 31, 2004 — There are 146,302 members in 24 stakes, four missions and 17 districts. One temple.
  • Dec. 2, 2005 — The Colombian Congress recognizes the Church for its ongoing humanitarian service in Colombia. A medal of commendation is presented to Elder Claudio R.M. Costa of the Seventy, who represented the Church at the ceremony.
Source: 2006 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac
Saturday, October 29, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z02

U.S. missionaries leave Venezuela

Difficulties concerning visas for missionaries have led the Church to remove its U.S. missionaries from Venezuela, said Dale Bills, Church spokesman. The problem involves renewing visas and obtaining new visas for missionaries serving in that country, he added. Consequently, the Church "has decided to reassign U.S. missionaries serving in Venezuela to other Spanish-speaking missions in Latin America, the U.S. and Canada where such missionaries are needed. Parents have been advised accordingly," he added. Brother Bills said the Church will keep the matter under review.

Saturday, October 8, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z02

Changes made in Presidency of the Seventy

Elder Ned B. Roueche, 71, was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 1998. Before his call to the Seventy, he was president of the Venezuela Barcelona Mission, a member of an advisory committee in the Missionary Department and stake president's counselor.

Saturday, July 9, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z12

Historic trip
No vacancies on next four temple excursions for Manaus members
By Nei Garcia, Brazil public affairs

After two years without going to a temple, members from Manaus, Brazil, recently made local history as they traveled to the Venezuela Caracas Temple.

The trip by bus took 76 hours but was uneventful compared with the 12-day boat and bus ride — down rivers through the rain forest — to the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple, which they attended previously.

Even though traveling time was reduced by almost nine days, the Manaus saints traveled nearly 2,500 miles and overcame many challenges, such as travel costs, lack of vacation days from work, difficulty getting passports, and other things.

Local leaders met these challenges by first receiving permission from the Brazil North Area presidency to travel to the temple in Venezuela.

As soon as the permission came, they began preparations. As they overcame the problems with costs, and reserved a bus and made other arrangements, they realized that they did not have enough temple clothing for all the members.

Members from other areas outside Brazil donated clothing and made up for the shortage.

"Everyone got clothes. Every person who was going for the first time received three pieces of clothing," said President Geraldo Lima of the Manaus Brazil Cidade Nova Stake.

Forty-seven members of the north region of Brazil traveled to Venezuela. In a memorable moment for each of the participants, eight families were sealed. The Silva family had waited for 11 years for this special moment.

"It was a great blessing," said Jorge Augusto. "I started to think I would not get it to happen. But the Lord always reminded me and helped me. Through my leaders I learned what I had to do."

He said that "when we entered the sealing room, I felt a strong spirit of that house. I realized there the value of endurance. I know that, with enthusiasm, patience and diligence, we will return to live with Heavenly Father."

Besides the eight families that were sealed, another 14 people received their own endowments, and 391 baptisms for the dead were performed.

Maria da Conceicmplish this goal."

Another member, Jorlena do Santos, said, "For four years I waited for this moment. But I never felt that I was prepared enough. However, as soon as we departed, I felt that the Lord was waiting for us in His house. The happiness was so great that I cannot explain it in words."

The trip was long and tiring, but members kept their optimism throughout. Hymns, movies and spiritual thoughts strengthened all the men, women and children.

For many, it was their second or third time to the temple. One of these, Raimunda de Souza, expressed her feelings:

"This was the third time I have been to the temple," she said. "But this time I received the greatest blessing — I was sealed to my husband for all eternity. My testimony is strengthened."

President Kennedy Canuto, second counselor in the stake presidency, said, "I had a very important issue about which to ask the Lord. In a certain place in the temple, I felt, through the Spirit, what I had to do. My bosom was burning; in a very clear way my prayer was answered."

President Lima said the trip to the temple increased the spirituality of the members.

"Each member lived a spiritual experience and all the stake was touched by the Spirit," he said. "There are no vacancies on the next four excursions we have planned."

Saturday, June 25, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z16

Glamour to grammar

In his home country of Venezuela, Israel Bilancieri was well known.

He was the expert on whom movie stars and TV celebrities called to make them look as beautiful as possible. In fact, he was so good at what he did that his services were requested in places as far away as Argentina, Spain and even China.

When he joined the Church in 1988, he owned a thriving business with 27 employees. In 1989, he immigrated to the United States. Even though he is now 67 years old, Brother Bilancieri still has a dream of opening another studio, this time in the United States.

"My problem is that English comes slowly to me," he admits. "I knew that it would be difficult to go into business if I couldn't speak English and so I went to my bishop and asked for his counsel."

The bishop realized that part of the problem was that it was too easy for Brother Bilancieri to go through the day speaking only his native tongue. He also knew that Brother Bilancieri was looking for a job. The bishop remembered that Deseret Industries offered excellent training and support for those wanting to learn English, and so he filled out an approval form and urged Brother Bilancieri to investigate.

It wasn't long before Brother Bilancieri was put to work.

As part of his personal development plan, Brother Bilancieri attends English instruction sessions at Deseret Industries twice a week. In addition, he has multiple opportunities to speak English throughout the day.

"It is still coming slowly," Brother Bilancieri said, "but I am learning."

And he is not the only one.

As Deseret Industries discovered more about his background and skills, they became interested in having him teach others about personal grooming. Brother Bilancieri was delighted and is now teaching a group of 12 others who work at Deseret Industries the importance of dress and appearance.

"I think it is making a difference," he says. "I feel that I am growing myself and, at the same time, I am making a difference in the lives of others."

There is a saying that what goes around comes around, and, in Brother Bilancieri's case, that appears to be true. For years, he devoted his time and talents to making others look good. Today, he is confidant that his experience at Deseret Industries will have a similar effect on him. —Neil K. Newell

Saturday, June 11, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z07

New temple presidents

Nine new temple presidents, all General Authorities, have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service in Nov. 1, 2005. These are the new presidents and matrons.

Elder Ned B. and JoAnn Roueche

Elder Ned B. Roueche of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, 70, has been called as president of the Mexico City Mexico Temple, succeeding President Jerald L. Taylor. Elder Roueche's wife, JoAnn Sheffield Roueche, will serve as temple matron. Elder Roueche, who was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 1998, is a former member of the Church Missionary Department Advisory Committee, president of the Venezuela Barcelona Mission, stake president's counselor, high councilor and bishop. He was field engineering manager for IBM. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Leonard C. and Ruth Lee Roueche.

Sister Roueche is a former Primary president, counselor in the Relief Society and Young Women, and temple ordinance worker. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Kenneth Heber and Lucile Beck Sheffield.

Saturday, March 12, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z13

New stake presidents

EL TIGRE VENEZUELA STAKE: (Jan. 16, 2005) President — Robert Rafael Lozada Ytanare, 33, manager; succeeding Alfredo Jose Rodriguez Carmona; wife, Giovanna del Valle Martines Meneses de Lozada. Counselors — Jesus Andres Colls Garcia, 34, self-employed; wife, Yuselis de los Angeles Manzano Martinez de Colls. Adelino Baptista Nobrega dos Santos, 43, special education teacher and administrator; wife, Maria Hernandez Moreno de Nobrega.

Saturday, February 26, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z08

New and returning Mission Presidents for 122 missions

Venezuela Caracas Mission: New President: Danilo A. Paredes, Returning President: Allan J. Webb

Saturday, February 12, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z13

New stake presidents

BARCELONA VENEZUELA STAKE: (Jan. 16, 2005) President — Samil Alberto Moret Cueche, 33, safety inspector; succeeding Edward Enrique Petit Pimientel; wife, Marbelia Mercedes La Rosa de Moret. Counselors — Cesar Augusto Rincones Gamboa, 31, sales promoter; wife, Yosmary del Valle Cumana de Rincones. Antonio Rafael Macias Rodriguez, 26, employee of Z&P Construction; wife, Yomary Nacari Martinez de Macias.

CARACAS VENEZUELA URDANETA STAKE: (Jan. 23, 2005) President — Orlando Jose Melo Rosas, 34, sales executive; succeeding Jorge Alberto Ruiz Limo; wife, Dulcia Aracelis Aguylar Fernandez de Melo. Counselors — Orlando Jose Macho Nunez, 34, accountant; wife, Candy del Rosario Hernandez Alfonzo de Macho. Freddy Jose Colls Garcia, 36, administrator; wife, Anny Josefina Fabala Gonzalez de Colls.

Saturday, January 29, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z02

Living by the scriptures

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? — Doctrine and Covenants 6:22-23

Although I had been raised in the Church, it wasn't until I was about 16 years old that I finally recognized the need to know for myself the truth and to have my own testimony of the restored gospel.

I began my quest through daily scripture study, sometimes reading in the Book of Mormon; other times, the Doctrine and Covenants. Every night, I prayed. Night after night, I poured my heart out, desiring to know. Most often, I would fall asleep, too tired to even finish my prayer.

One night I cried out, frustrated that I didn't feel I was receiving an answer. I felt like God just kept letting me fall asleep without answering me. Then part of a scripture I had read popped into my mind: ". . . . cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart." I had done that.

I spent a few minutes and found the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 6:22. It was verse 23 that contained my answer. I had felt peace — enough to make me fall asleep. I already knew the truth; I just didn't realize it. But God had witnessed to me and answered my prayers. He had indeed spoken "peace unto (my) mind concerning the matter." — Sister Corinna Motola, Venezuela Barcelona Mission

Saturday, January 29, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: All, Page: Z12

New mission presidents

Eight new mission presidents, called by the First Presidency, have been announced. The new leaders and their wives will begin service about July 1. Their assignments will be announced later. The new leaders and their wives are:

Danilo and Amparo Paredes

Danilo Augusto Paredes Onate, 49; Caurimare Ward, Caracas Venezuela Palo Verde Stake; counselor in the bishopric; former counselor in a mission presidency, stake president, bishop and Sunday School teacher. Service Center manager for the Church. Born in Pelileo, Ecuador, to Jose Augusto Paredes Condo and Celinda Elisa Onate de Paredes. Married Amparo Margarita Tello Lopez, two children.

A Sunday School teacher, Sister Paredes is a former ward Relief Society, Young Women and Primary president and seminary teacher. Born in Quito, Ecuador, to Segundo Temistocles Tello Manzano and Blanca Beatriz Lopez de Tello.

Saturday, January 1, 2005
LDS Church News, Edition: Web, Page: WEB

Church News: Obituaries

Stephen Leon Brower, 82, president of the Church College of Hawaii from 1971-1974, died Dec. 22, 2004, in Logan, Utah. He also served as president of the Colombia Venezuela Mission from 1968-1971 and was a professor of sociology and management and later assistant dean of the School of Management at BYU in Provo, Utah. His wife, Vivian Higginson Brower, died in 2000.

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