News Release

Barrigada Guam Stake Turns its Hearts to the Temple

Members of the Barrigada Guam Stake have caught the Spirit of Elijah, and are preparing spiritually and temporally for the dedication of the Yigo Guam Temple sometime later this year. The stake has a goal for each member to prepare two names of ancestors they can take to the temple to perform ordinances for them. On March 27, 2021, the Stake Young Adults held an indexing activity at the stake center. Sister Nicole Evans, the Stake Temple and Family History Consultant, said about indexing, “Yes, it’s about taking names to the temple, but it’s really about connecting with our ancestors. Indexing is a selfless service to help connect families and create connections that can change our hearts.”

Elbert and Lupe Alford at YSA Indexing Activity© 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

For Elbert Alford, a member of the Yigo Ward, this was his first time ever doing indexing and he loved it. His problem, he said, is that he gets so interested in the individual he is indexing that he gets distracted from indexing more names. “I want to know their story, I want to know what they did and where they lived but I have many more names to do in the next hour.” His wife Lupe said she also loves indexing. “It takes me back to a place and lets me live the lives of others who were before us and see what was out there. I have indexed reenlistments for young soldiers, death certificates from the 1950’s from South Africa, and it is getting to know that these are families, that these are people’s loved ones out there that I’m helping with this service project and helping them to be remembered.”

In addition, the Yigo Ward, which will have the temple in its ward boundaries, held a Family History Fair on April 19, 2021. Nearly 90 people attended. After a luncheon, the incoming temple president and matron, Marlo and Memnet Lopez, kicked off the fair with a devotional delivered on Zoom. President Lopez said, “The temple will open its doors in the coming months. How glorious it will be for your ancestors to see you in the House of the Lord. By doing family history work, you become the saviors of your family.” After the devotional, booths were set up throughout the cultural hall where members could learn about and participate in different aspects of family history work.

Donald Henderson of the Talisay Ward and a High Councilman over family history attended the family history fair. He said it was a great opportunity to learn how to use the available resources to learn about and document your family history. “They taught us to use the Family Tree App. The app allows you to upload stories, names, pictures and other information about your ancestors into a central database. One of the fun group activities if everyone is logged into Family Tree on their phone is to look for relatives. The app will quickly locate anyone nearby you are related to and tell you how you are related. Chances are the person sitting near you is an 11th cousin!” Many of the participants expressed amazement at how many “relatives” they had in the ward. The family history fair was not just for old people -- there were teens, moms and dads leading family history training booths. Brother Henderson said he expected there will be more of these fairs in the future so even more friends and neighbors can participate.

Nicole Evans with daughter at Yigo Ward Family History Fair© 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nicole Evans, the Ward and Stake Temple and Family History Consultant and member of the Yigo Ward organized the event, with the intent to make it fun and inspiring for all age groups. Sister Evans thought the event was successful, and even bet that a few people got ‘bit with the bug,’ the family history bug, that is. “We decided to put this fair together to help our Ward members prepare for the new Yigo, Guam Temple that is opening later this year. Our booths were designed for the beginner genealogist in mind, to provide the necessary skills to achieve the goal of taking two names to the temple. The prophet and apostles are right, there is power that flows into our lives as we do this work. I have felt it and seen its effects in my own life. Of this I am extremely grateful and humbled to be engaged in such a work and cause.“

Bishop Tevita Tuitu'u of the Yigo Ward also played a prominent role in organizing the family history fair. He was excited by the large number of people who showed up for the fair, adding that, “we are blessed to have a Temple here in Guam at this time. It will forever be a reminder and importantly a testimony to us, that the Lord in his infinite and loving ways is mindful of all his children, even those on a small island such as Guam.”

Savannah Nelson, a Young Woman from Yigo Ward, said the fair was a fun way to learn about family history. She had no idea she was related to so many people in the ward. She worked at one of the booths during the fair and is excited to do family history work, and to eventually enter the temple when it is dedicated. “I drive by it and see it. I’m definitely excited by the temple.”

Another Yigo Ward member, Malana Ferreira, said her grandmother was a genealogist and gave her stacks and stacks of books. “I will now go through them myself. I hope to take many to the temple. I feel like I know them through family history work.”

Delphina Jimmy and her family from Barrigada Ward were invited by a family member to attend the fair. She said the fair had inspired her to go talk to her aunt, who just happened to have arrived on Guam a week before the fair and is the one remaining family member who would have family historical information. “I was invited by a Yigo Ward member to attend the fair, and now I know why. The invitation was inspired.”

Barrigada Guam Stake President Fredivic Nicerio summed it up well. “The Family History Fair was indeed a true success. The Spirit of Elijah surely touched the hearts of every member who attended. After the fair, some wards and branches as far away as Palau expressed their desire and plans for a similar activity as they gather names and prepare themselves spiritually. As members of our stake ‘turn our hearts’ to the temple, we will surely be blessed as we prepare, come, and claim these blessings when the temple is completed.

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