From the Church

Apostles around the world: Where have they visited in November?

Throughout November, many Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been busy ministering to and visiting with leaders, humanitarian organizations, and members of the Church around the world. Here is a summary of each of those remarkable visits.

Elder Christofferson visits Central Africa

Elder D. Todd Christofferson greets Sheik Abdallah Mangala, a legal representative for the Islamic community, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Friday, November 11, 2022.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson recently visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo and called the country’s 90,000 Church members and more than 250 congregations “a vibrant church, a rapidly growing church; we see a stable church and great opportunities for the future.”

He and other Church leaders also met with members of the National Council of Religions for Peace in Kinshasa, made visits to some of the Church’s humanitarian projects around Kinshasa, held a training meeting for local leadership, and met with missionaries from the Congo who are serving in the Kinshasa West mission.

“It’s hard to find the words to describe it—so vibrant, so full of life. So exciting just to see them and to feel the energy that they bring,” Elder Christofferson shared, as reported by Church Newsroom.

Elder Christofferson will also visit Kenya, Ethiopia, and India later this month. You can learn more about his visit on Church Newsroom.

Elder Andersen visits New Zealand and Australia

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Elder Neil L. Andersen greets missionaries serving in the Fiji Suva Mission on Nov. 10, 2022.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Elder Neil L. Andersen, along with his wife, Kathy, recently embarked on a Pacific tour to New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia, visiting with groups of Latter-day Saints in each location.

In Wellington, New Zealand, Church News reports that Elder Andersen taught, “We all need to pray deeply for the Holy Ghost to be able to lift and strengthen and help both those in and out of the Church to come unto Christ.”

And in a devotional in Perth, Australia, Elder Andersen shared that “the miracles of the Lord are real. … See through believing eyes, trust Him, trust in your faith and look for things that happen to you.”

You can read more about Elder and Sister Andersen’s Pacific tour on Church News.

Elder Uchtdorf visits Arizona

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Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, pose while meeting with Church members at Luke Air Force Base west of Phoenix, Arizona, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

In 1962, 21-year-old Dieter F. Uchtdorf was in the middle of a two-year training with the U.S. Air Force in Texas and Arizona, and completed a four-month training at Luke Air Force Base just outside Phoenix, Arizona. During his short stay there, Elder Uchtdorf had some formative experiences, both spiritual and professional. According to Church News, on base, the young German pilot earned the coveted Commander’s Trophy for finishing first in his weapons training class, and at Church, he received a calling to teach the 14- to 17-year-olds in Sunday School. His time at Luke Air Force Base also included young Elder Uchtdorf receiving his own patriarchal blessing and then his temple endowment in the Mesa Arizona Temple.

“During the day, I dropped bombs out on the gunnery range, and in the evening I went to the temple,” he told Church News. “What greater contrast can you have?”

60 years later, on November 10-13, Elder Uchtdorf and his wife Harriet returned to Luke Air Force Base and ministered to Latter-day Saints throughout the greater Phoenix area. An on-base devotional for military Latter-day Saints and their immediate family was held at Luke Air Force Base on November 10 and included a question-and-answer session—with many questions coming from children and youth—and Elder Uchtdorf leading the group in his favorite Primary song, “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.

Later that weekend, the Uchtdorfs also visited the Mesa Arizona Temple, chatting with couples who had been recently sealed, surprising youth in the temple baptistry, and leaving signatures and tender messages on the crayon wall in the visitors’ center.

And finally, the couple was able to visit the home their young family had lived in for three years in 1975 in Glendale while Elder Uchtdorf was overseeing Lufthansa’s pilot training school and attended Sunday’s sacrament meeting in the same meetinghouse they had regularly attended 47 years ago.

You can read more about the Uchtdorfs’ visit to Arizona and Elder Uchtdorf’s time at Luke Air Force Base as a young man on Church News.

Elder Gong visits Central America

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, right, shows a For the Strength of Youth guide to Panama Vice President José Gabriel Carrizo on Nov. 15, 2022 in Panama.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong and his wife, Sister Susan L. Gong, traveled on a ministry tour throughout central America.

On November 14 while in Guatemala, Sister Gong helped deliver a Church donation to Guatemala’s Centro de Atención Integral, which offers free childcare and services for low-income families. The Church’s Guatemala Newsroom reports that she told the organization, “You are doing a great and important job blessing so many children, and we know you are doing God’s work.”

Sister Susan L. Gong (pictured in red) and other representatives from the Church stand with staff and children of Centro de Atención Integral after delivering a donation to the childcare center in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on Nov. 15, 2022.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Then on November 15, Elder Gong met with the vice president of Panama, José Gabriel Carrizo, on Nov. 15. According to Church News, the two men discussed ongoing humanitarian projects around the country, and Elder Gong showed Carrizo the new For the Strength of Youth guide, showcasing how it can help youth grow into better people and citizens.

You can read more about their visit and ministry on Church News.

Elder Holland visits Germany, Finland, and Sweden

For 10 days, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland had the opportunity to visit and minister to Latter-day Saints in Germany, Sweden, and Finland.

Many in the region are anxious about the nearby military conflict between Russia and Ukraine. According to Church News, Elder and Sister Holland met with Ukrainian refugees in Germany, saying that “things are going to be all right. … God is in charge. The best thing all of us can do is to be true to our own covenants.” He also told Saints in Finland to have optimism and hope that “happier days lie ahead.”

“The prayers of the righteous will prevail, and we will have peace and prosperity for the rising generation,” he said, as reported by Church Newsroom.

Elder Holland’s visit also coincided with the 75th anniversary of the Finland Helsinki Mission. Read more about his visit and message for European Latter-day Saints on Church Newsroom.

Elder Stevenson visits Indonesia

On Thursday, November 3, 2022, Elder Gary E. Stevenson addressed more than 400 interfaith attendees at the first G20 Religion Forum in Bali, Indonesia.

“Our shared values with people of faith have compelled us to build bridges of interfaith understanding, foster relationships of racial harmony, [and] promote fairness for all throughout society,” Elder Stevenson said, as reported by Church Newsroom.

You can read more about Elder Stevenson’s address and the R20 religion forum on Church Newsroom and watch a video recap of his visit in the player above.

Elder Rasband visits Brazil

Earlier this month, Elder Ronald A. Rasband made several visits to cities in Brazil—Natal, Recife, Brasília, São Paulo, and Porto Alegre—over a 10-day ministry trip. While there, he also participated in five Facebook live videos, one from each city, and shared special messages for Brazilian Latter-day Saints.

In a video from the São Paulo Temple Visitors’ Center, Elder Rasband invited all to be “preachers of peace” and reminded them of the Savior’s love. “Jesus Christ loves you. He loves the people of Brazil, and His Church is here to bring souls to [Him]. I love Him. I testify of Him—the great Prince of Peace.”

You can watch each of the videos in the players below and learn more about Elder Rasband’s visit to cities across Brazil on Church Newsroom.

Elder Renlund visits Brazil

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Elder Dale G. Renlund gives a fist bump to children after they helped put mortar along the cornerstone at the Brazil Belem Temple dedication on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

On Sunday, November 20, Elder Dale G. Renlund dedicated the Belém Brazil Temple, the nation’s ninth operating temple.

According to Church News, Elder Renlund greeted Latter-day Saints with individual handshakes as they entered the temple for the dedication. He also delivered his welcome message, concluding remarks, and the dedicatory prayer in each of the three sessions in Portuguese.

“Two millennia ago, wise men came to the village of Belém (Bethlehem) in Judea to worship Thy beloved Son,“ Elder Renlund said in the temple’s dedicatory prayer. “Today, many of Thy sons and daughters who also seek to be wise, will now come to this beautiful city of Belém (Bethlehem), not because it is a gateway to the riches and wonders of the most powerful river in the world, but to worship Jesus Christ in this temple and thus obtain the riches of eternity. We pray that all who enter may feel Thy power and sense that Thou hast sanctified it as a place of Thy holiness.”

You can read more about the Renlunds’ visit to Brazil and the new temple dedication on Church News.

Elder Cook visits Ecuador

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Elder Quentin L. Cook and his wife, Mary, walk into the dedication of the Quito Ecuador Temple on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Elder Quentin L. Cook and his wife, Sister Mary Cook, recently traveled to Quito, where Elder Cook presided over the dedication of the second temple in the Central American country of Ecuador. In a rare situation, it became the second temple dedicated that day, November 20, 2022, taking place just two hours after the Belém Brazil Temple was dedicated by Elder Renlund on the other side of the continent.

“Everything just seemed so right,” Elder Cook told Church News. “I ended up with a wonderful, warm feeling for the graciousness and the righteousness of these people. It was a joy.”

The new temple dedication provided a beautiful reminder for the Cooks of the importance of the temple—the trip came just 10 days shy of their 60th wedding anniversary.

You can read more about Elder Cook’s remarks and their visit on Church News.

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