Tuesday, October 7, 2014

All about 2014 October General Conference - Brazilians friends at Conference Center

President Marcelo Saito, president of the São Paulo Perdizes Stake, poses with his mother, Harue, his wife Rose and his sister Marisa after the Saturday afternoon session of the LDS Church's general conference session on Oct. 4, 2014. (Tad Walch, Deseret News)

From the news:

 ..."Brazil has the third-largest Mormon population in the world, six LDS temples and is well-represented in church leadership. One of the seven presidents of the Seventy, Elder Ulisses Soares, is from Brazil, as are three members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, one member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy and 17 Area Seventies.
But when the first conference talk in Portuguese is given, Brazilian member Marisa Saito said Saturday, "We'll feel like we really are represented."
Brazilian visitors
Saito and her brother, Marcelo Saito, are third-generation Japanese-Brazilians. He is president of the São Paulo Perdizes Stake. They've experienced the globalization of the church firsthand.
"In 1966," President Saito said, "our parents joined the church, the same year the first stake was created in Brazil. Now we have 253 stakes, 34 missions, six temples" and 1.25 million members.
Saito became a high priest at age 20 immediately after he returned from a mission to Rio de Janeiro in the mid-1980s, something that in the United States often doesn't occur prior to a man's 30s or 40s or even later. He was a bishop at 25. Now 48, he has been in stake presidencies for 18 years.
During his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch presidency.
Such leadership callings for young Brazilians were commonplace. Today, they are rare.
"Before," Marisa Saito said, "you had converts leading the church. Now you have third- and fourth-generation members leading the church. The membership and the leadership is more mature. We still get a lot of financial assistance and leadership assistance, but Brazil is becoming more self-reliant."
President Saito and his wife, Rose, chose to travel to Utah for conference for their 25th anniversary. Rose was a foreign exchange student at Olympus High School. Their oldest son served a mission and a daughter is serving in the Brazil Santa Maria Mission. Another daughter is preparing her mission papers.
Marisa Saito lived in Salt Lake City for five years after serving a mission. She and her brother brought their mother, Harue, with them for their 10-day stay......"

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