Dozens who served as LDS missionaries in Manaus returned to Brazil for the cultural celebration and temple dedication. In addition, they attended a mission reunion and organized a local service project.
Ben Martinsen of St. George, has been following the progress of the temple from the United States since ground was broken in 2008. He served as a missionary in Brazil from 1999 to 2001. He said he can't believe the growth the church has experienced in the city in the 11 years since he returned home.
Elder Claudio R.M. Costa of the Seventy served as the president of the Manaus mission when it opened in 1990. At that time there was just one LDS stake in the city. Two years later, in 1992, the first group of Latter-day Saints made the long journey to the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple — selling much of what they owned to pay for the trip.
Without a temple in their city, members today would still sacrifice to attend the temple, he said.
"I have a trust that the Manaus temple will be very busy, every single day, because these people love the temple," Elder Costa said. "They teach their children to love the temple. The temple is very precious to them."
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