News Release

Seminary and Institute Students Light the World for Foster Children on Guam 

LTW 2023
LTW 2023
Barrigada Stake Seminary and Institute students along with some senior missionaries Light the World for Foster children© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Christmas time is a wonderful time of year for most people. For children who are not able to be with their parents and placed in foster care, Christmas can be a very difficult time. Seminary and Institute students from the Barrigada Guam Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were looking for a way to ‘Light the World’. An opportunity came for them to give a gift of kindness and love to the foster children in Guam. Elder Robert and Sister Jill Palmer, seminary and institute missionaries in the Micronesia Guam mission, found the right people to talk to and soon a plan was made. They would give foster children a Christmas party complete with lunch, games and of course, candy. Lori Boss, who helps children to find forever homes by being adopted, helped to organize the event and make the connections with the foster case workers. Elder and Sister Palmer along with their students, assembled gift bags that were filled with goodies, stickers, and small gifts for about 35 children. They were all so excited to be able to participate in this wonderful service opportunity. The food was ordered, the cultural hall was decorated, and tables were set out for games. The Palmer’s also invited the other senior missionary couples on the island to come and help with the event. They were happy to help out. 

On December 9, 2023, a van load of children pulled up to the Barrigada Stake Center. Unfortunately, only about half of the children they were expecting were able to come. Before they arrived, Sister Palmer had all of the volunteers gather for instructions and safety protocols that everyone needed to follow and sign papers saying they would follow the guidelines. As the children came into the Church, there was a mixture of emotions showing on their faces from fear to excitement. A few of the teenagers thought this event was probably only for little children and not going to be much fun for them. By the end of the party, they had changed their minds! The children were divided into groups depending on ages and then the party began! Laughter could be heard throughout the cultural hall as the children and volunteers participated in the games. 

The seminary and institute students played the games right alongside the children helping them to feel included and, at least for a few hours, that they were like any other child or teenager. Most of the children’s favorite game was an airplane toss where styrofoam planes were thrown through a circle/hula hoop. Several of them when asked what their favorite part was said: “Everything!”. They all enjoyed the nice lunch together and all of the games. Several teenagers gave a special 'teenage handshake' to one of the institute students which brought tears to his eyes. It was a tender moment to see how quickly they were able to form bonds of friendship. It doesn’t take much to bring joy to others, especially those who are struggling. The children left the event with happy faces and laughter. It was hard for some to leave. The students, missionaries, and leaders were filled with gratitude and love for the opportunity to serve and help to Light the World a few hours for these wonderful children.  Perhaps, a new tradition has just begun! Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said “ is really spelled T.I.M.E”.  

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