Vienna Mission set stage for LDS growth

On the surface, the LDS Church's Austria Vienna East Mission lasted a little more than four years, from mid-1987 to early 1992 — about the lifespan of a pair of two-year Mormon missionary terms.

And the name just didn't seem quite right, seeing how none of the assigned missionaries ever served in either Vienna or Austria but rather in adjacent countries and beyond.

But the mission's AVE acronym is fitting, since the mission served as a road to take gospel teachings to many European nations where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had little or no previous presence.

And Vienna — long considered one of Europe's leading cities in politics, economics and the arts — was a fitting headquarters city, seeing it was surrounded on three sides by the Iron Curtain and was just a mere 20 minutes away from a world of suppression and Communist control.

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