The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Less than a week after arriving in Brazil’s capital city of Brasília to welcome the country’s media and VIPs to the Church’s recently completed temple there, Elder Ulisses Soares traveled north and east to preside over a weekend of meetings with Church members.

In the five years since he was called as an Apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the native Brazilian has testified of the Savior in many countries around the world. His assignments to minister in Brazil have been few.

On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6, Elder Soares was joined by his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, and Elder Joni L. Koch, a General Authority Seventy and, as of Aug. 1, the new president of the Brazil Area. The group spoke to members of the Church in the coastal city of Maceió, located more than 1,500 miles north of São Paulo, where Elder and Sister Soares grew up.

“I do not get to come to my home country on assignments often or to speak in my native language often. I want you to know how much this means to me to be here with you,” Elder Soares said.

The moment was special for him and for the members who look up to him.

“In this calling, I do not represent Brazil,” he said. “I represent the Savior as one of His witnesses.”

Elder Soares said that he does not advocate the cause of Brazil as a country or Latin America on a larger scale with his fellow quorum members. He said he was called, sustained and set apart the same way the other Apostles have been and that they are unified in seeking to do the Lord’s will as they fulfill their callings.

In the area, Elder Soares met with local leaders, young adults and members at large in a series of meetings that lasted until the last possible moment on Sunday night before leaving for the airport to return to Brasília — where he continued his assignment at the temple open house and participated in a religious freedom symposium.

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