News Release

2021 Micronesia Guam Year in Review

Summary of events in the Micronesia Guam Mission

Reflecting over 2021, many countries borders were closed to travel as COVID lingered on. Come Spring, as the virus begins to ease, couple missionaries and mission presidents assigned to Japan find a respite and similar time zone in the Micronesia Guam mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As they are assigned to Guam temporarily, they are welcomed and find ways to serve as well as keep in touch with their country via Zoom calls.

The Yigo Guam Temple continued to be constructed and furnished and will likely be dedicated early 2022. President Mario Lopez and Matron arrive in Guam, and their counselors and assistant matrons are selected. Throughout the year, two mission presidents, two area legal couples, a church employed legal couple, the executive secretary to the Asia North Area Presidency as well as seven other senior missionary couples and one single senior missionary sister have arrived in Guam, with eight of these still waiting for Japan to open.

The Barrigada Guam Stake Presidency finds ways to keep in contact with their members among the isles of the sea remotely. Some sacrament meetings are done via Zoom. Stake Conferences are done remotely as well as utilizing this mode for our Yigo Guam Temple President Lopez and Matron to virtually attend sacrament meetings with the different wards and branches in the islands.

July, Elder and Sister Green arrive in Guam as the Communications Department. During the next six months, a variety of Helping Hands service projects were fulfilled in Guam, Palau, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Chuuk. Highlights of these donations include a donation of two-hundred school backpacks with school supplies that went to the ‘Fill The Bus’s campaign where the Church partnered with Guam’s KUAM station and the Salvation Army. The Church donated seven-hundred school backpacks with school supplies to the Koror Elementary School in Palau. The Church also gave a donation and participated in Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base’s ‘Operation Christmas Drop’ which parachuted the bundled donations of toys and supplies from C-130’s to remote islands throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Travel is banned in the Federated States of Micronesia all throughout 2021, but the Church has still been able to give aid by shipping the requested supplies right to the islands. Wheelchairs have been ordered that will be delivered in early 2022. The Eat Healthy, Be Active program has been introduced to the Republic of Palau’s President Surangel Whipps Jr. and the course program taught to members of the Koror Branch. The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Northern Marianas (CNMI) patiently wait for when the Church can introduce this program to their islands.

The president of the Republic of Palau had a couple of unique visits this year, first from the Micronesia Guam Communications and Self-reliance senior missionary couple, Elder and Sister Green regarding communications and humanitarian efforts on the island. The second was from the young missionaries serving in Palau. They visited on the Presidents allotted day for religious visitors to offer devotionals.

Micronesia Guam continues to send senior missionaries to Palau and Saipan in person for family history support, Public Affairs and Communication, humanitarian efforts, Seminary and Institute support, and stake and member support. Saipan had a groundbreaking in July for a new chapel to be built, finishing in 2022. Ibedul Gibbons, a prominent high chief in Palau passed away this year as did Kiki Stinnett, the founder, and head of the Chuuk Women’s Council.

Contact with media on Guam and Palau proves to continue to be successful as General Conference and the ‘Light the World’ initiative are broadcast and digitally displayed throughout Guam and other islands. The communications department highlighted a couple of manuals on the Micronesia Guam Newsroom. After an interview with Elder James Rasband, writer of the Yigo Temple Booklet, this was highlighted in an article as well.

Panasang, Pohnpei Stake was reorganized remotely over Zoom this year. Permission was given from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for President Williamson Rodriguez to be set apart on island by his previous Stake President, Lensper Kalio. Different stake meetings and sacrament meetings were attended by our Temple Presidency and other leaders on different islands via zoom.

Our mission has been blessed with a variety of visitors this year, to include Bishop Waddell, Elder James R Rasband, Elder John A McCune, and Po Nien (Felipe) Chou, historical recorder. The Mission Presidents Seminar was held here in Guam, where all of the Asia North Area mission presidents came to Guam for the week. The past year was full of service and love. The Church looks forward to another year of the same.

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