Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traverse the globe to meet with members, train local Church leaders, visit government and civic leaders and, most importantly, to be “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” (D&C 107:23).
A few of the apostles’ travels this year are detailed below, which include visits to thousands of people in Japan, Guam, Europe, Haiti, Ivory Coast and several countries in Central America.
Elder Russell M. Nelson Visits Japan’s Foreign and Justice Ministers
On 1 March 2013, Elder Nelson visited Japan’s foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, and justice minister, Sadakazu Tanigaki.
Foreign Minister Kishida and Justice Minister Tanigaki thanked the Church for the service it provided following the devastating tsunami in 2011, including financial contributions and 400,000-plus man-hours of service from local Latter-day Saints. Foreign Minister Kishida also expressed appreciation for the influence Mormon missionaries have on Japanese citizens.
"These good people are happy to have our missionaries," Elder Nelson said. "In fact they told us how meaningful it is for them to have young people from other countries come to their countries as missionaries because they learn the culture they learn to love the people they learn the language and they return as ambassadors for the country of Japan."
Elder Nelson also spent time ministering to Church members in Japan and Guam.
See more information about Elder Nelson’s visit at the Japan Mormon Newsroom website.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Visits Europe
In late February, Elder Holland met with members of Parliament of the United Kingdom, participated in an interfaith dinner, spoke to missionaries in the London Missionary Training Center, spoke to Latter-day Saints and visited the Hyde Park Latter-day Saint chapel.
Elder Holland also visited with Mormons in Holland and Germany.
See the United Kingdom Mormon Newsroom website for information
Elder Neil L. Andersen Marks Church’s 30-Year Anniversary in Haiti
As part of a 10-day tour of the Church’s Caribbean Area in February, Elder Andersen marked the 30th anniversary of the Church in Haiti. This included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on a hill high above Port au Prince — the same spot where President Thomas S. Monson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dedicated the land for the preaching of the gospel in 1983. The commemoration included a televised message from President Monson, recorded prior to the event.
After his visit to the Caribbean, Elder Andersen told the Church News (a weekly supplement to the Deseret News that contains member-focused information) about several Church-sponsored projects underway in Haiti. These include thousands of fruit trees the Church is donating to the country — a project that garnered an expression of gratitude from Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. The Church is also involved in several educational and employment programs designed to help members be self-sufficient and serve in their communities.
See more at LDS.org’s News and Events page, a news resource intended primarily for members.
Elder Quentin L. Cook Encourages Mormons in Ivory Coast to Increase in Faith in Christ
Elder Cook’s visit to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 8–11 February 2013, included talks given before more than 9,000 Mormons (16,000-plus Latter-day Saints live in the country), training for local Church leaders and visits with local government officials.
Among other things, Elder Cook counseled members to increase their faith in Jesus Christ and strengthen their families.
Read more at LDS.org’s News and Events page, a news resource intended primarily for members.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson Meets with Presidents of Costa Rica and Guatemala
In late January, Elder Christofferson spent 10 days visiting with Mormons in several countries in Central America. He also spoke with the presidents of Costa Rica and Guatemala.
On 11 January, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla extended the time allotted for Elder Christofferson’s visit to speak at greater length about the importance of strengthening the family. Elder Christofferson thanked her for ways in which the national government has made it easier for the Church to do charitable work in the country, such as donating wheelchairs and offering school and hygiene kits for children and families.
With Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina on 17 January, Elder Christofferson discussed the impact of Guatemalans in the Church both within the country and outside. There are almost 1,000 Mormon missionaries serving in Guatemala, and an equal number of missionaries from Guatemala serving in other countries. They also discussed the Guatemalan initiative, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, to encourage reading by Guatemalan children and youth and in Guatemalan families.