CALI, Colombia Close to 100 people gathered together in the meetinghouse of the Colon Ward in Cali, Colombia to participate in the funeral of President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Sadness could be found in the faces of those attending the service. We knew that we would never again see this man in this life again.
Still, there was also much joy knowing that President Hinckley now occupied a place close to God.
President Hinckley will forever remain in the hearts and minds of Colombians everywhere because of his teachings and his example. Also, we remember that President Hinckley dedicated the only temple that exists at this moment in our country, the Bogota Colombia Temple. Edgar Henry Munoz
CHORLEY, England After a day of extreme winter weather that saw sleet and snow storms across the nation and tempests out at sea that left ships stranded, more than 200 members from three nearby LDS stakes left the comfort of their homes Saturday evening to watch the satellite broadcast of the funeral services of President Gordon B Hinckley.
Others members with satellite services spent the evening watching at home.
As families reverently took their places in the chapel of the Chorley England Stake Centre, situated in view of the Preston Temple that President Hinckley dedicated in 1998, many recollected that he had last spoken to them from that same chapel in 2004.
Some spoke quietly of their deep feelings for the prophet they have come to know and love for nearly 13 years.
"I feel a loss," said Matthew Robinson, a high councilor in the Chorley England Stake. "He was called as president as I was serving my mission. I guess a lot of people feel that they have a personal relationship with President Hinckley."
William Haddock of the Burnley Ward, the father of two young boys, said that when he first heard the news via a text message he wept. "But then I thought, how happy his wife and deceased family would have been to join him. It is part of the gospel plan and the church will move forward. I don't feel a loss now, but I feel for President Monson as the mantle moves to his shoulders."
Gary and Patricia Madison of the Chorley Second Ward spoke of their mixed feelings at hearing the news from missionaries who visited their home. "We felt sad for ourselves, but also happy for him. Our children have asked a lot of questions about what happens now and in our prayers we have mentioned President Hinckley and his family, expressing gratitude for the impact he has had on our lives."
Gary Madison said he felt it was important to come to watch the funeral services, "to pay my respects to President Hinckley and take this opportunity to say goodbye."The attachment of the Lancashire members to President Hinckley was every bit reciprocated. He has repeatedly spoken of his love for England and especially Lancashire and its people. Here he began his mission, in Preston and Nelson. Here he broke ground for and returned to dedicate a temple. And here he has returned several times, the last in 2004. Members today learned a little more of that love for Lancashire when they heard President Monson state at the graveside services that President Hinckley had preserved some Lancashire soil, which was added to his grave so that he rests on a little bit of Lancashire. David MW Pickup
RIGA, Latvia Members of the LDS Church in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania viewed live proceedings of the funeral of President Gordon B. Hinckley in meetinghouses in each of the capital cities of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius at 8 p.m. local time.
Proceedings were broadcast in three languages in each meetinghouse and dubbed in real time over the transmitted video stream. In Riga, for instance, services were carried in Russian and English, with Latvian read from the microphone by a local member.
News of President Hinckley's death spread quickly among the approximately 2,700 church members in these former Soviet countries. Shortly after his death about 4 a.m. Monday Latvian time, members communicated by text messaging and cell phones.
President Hinckley is the only president of the church these members have known, since the overwhelming majority are first-generation members who were baptized since his call as president.Many members from these countries crossed the Baltic Sea to attend the dedication of the Helsinki Finland Temple in October 2006 and became endeared to him during the cultural event and member meeting. Kent Hansen
LYON, France Members of the LDS Church in the Lyon France Stake viewed proceedings in the stake center in Lyon Saturday, while others planned to view the rebroadcast the next day in other meetinghouses in Grenoble and Clermont Ferrand.
In Clermont Ferrand, an anticipated 80 members scattered over 100 kilometers were expected to attend the Sunday afternoon rebroadcast. About 350 members throughout a 200 kilometer radius attended the Lyon stake center for Saturday afternoon's 2:00 broadcast.
Some church members planned to record proceedings from a meetinghouse in Valence, France, and replay proceedings for family home evening. Dennis Gioffredo