News Release

The Lord’s Truck  

A branch president from Pohnpei finds joy in serving the Lord. He gives members in his branch a ride to church in what he calls: "The Lord's truck!"


Akilino Kalasans from the island of Pohnpei is a humble faithful servant of Jesus Christ.  Young missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been visiting his home since 2003.  His parents liked what they saw and heard from the missionaries, so they urged him to listen to them.  He was young and not very obedient at the time.  His parents never did join the Church, but they loved the missionaries and enjoyed listening to their message.   

He and his wife had several children when he decided that maybe he needed to change his wild ways for his family.  His wife had been listening to the missionaries and asked him almost every day to listen to them.  She told him that they could help him change.  He finally listened to her and allowed the missionaries to come teach him.  The first lesson was all about the Plan of Salvation.  Akilino said: “As soon as I heard about this wonderful plan, I knew deep in my heart that it was true.” In spite of having those feelings, he chose not to listen to the missionaries again.  He had some addiction problems that made being around them uncomfortable.  He tried to ignore the feelings that he had felt.  Finally in 2016, he began listening to the missionaries again.  This time, he was ready to listen and finally a date was set for their baptism.  

The night before the scheduled baptism, he went out and partied with his friends for what he referred to as "the last time".  The missionaries thought that they’d better postpone his baptismal date.  He didn’t want to do that.  Akilino really wanted to get baptized.  He made a promise that he would be fully committed to the gospel.  He said that he was done with the ‘partying life’.  He and his wife were baptized on January 7, 2017, and both became very active in the Church.  He was able to quit drinking, smoking, and using other drugs immediately! He said: “I try my best to obey God’s commandments.” 

Brother Kalasans became the Kitti Branch President within two to three years of getting baptized.  He states: “I have learned that me and my family are not perfect, but the Church is perfect.  We continue to always find happiness in this Church! Before I joined the Church, I was drinking and doing bad things.  There always seemed to be a shortness of material things in our life.  Now we seem to have plenty and we’re happy. We keep seeing the blessings come into our life by just trying to be the best we can.” 

They never had a car.  Akilino dreamed of having a car so that he and his family didn’t have to walk so far to go to church.  Because of his obedience, a way was opened to help him find a truck.  He uses the truck to pick up other members and bring them to church and other activities. After the meetings, he then takes them all back to their homes.  He said: “This truck is the Lord’s.  I use it for the Lord’s work.” 

Brother Kalasans is a farmer.  He raises yams, taro, and several different kinds of other vegetables as well.  He also works with a cleaning company that cleans all the Church buildings on the island. He said that getting this job was an answer to his prayers stating: “I’m grateful for my new job. I now have a steady income to provide for my family.” 

In bearing his testimony, he said: “I know that this Church is true because I have felt it.  This Church will go on through this life and into the next life.  I know that it is true! I want people to know that I am very faithful to God and love Him.  As a branch president, I want people to trust me.  I want to be able to provide hope for all those who come to church. I want members to know that it is important to keep working together.  I am giving my all to God.”

A young mother who was getting baptized the following week and would be a member of the Kitti branch, came to his office one Sunday with her sick little girl seeking a blessing for her child. Her little girl was frightened and inconsolable.  A couple of Priesthood brethren were called into his office to assist in the blessing.  As they gathered in a circle for the blessing and placed their hands on the little girl’s head, it made her even more upset.  They were strangers to her. She cried louder and her mother struggled to keep her still.  The men stepped back and President Kalasans gently and lovingly placed his hands on her head.  The little girl immediately calmed down and snuggled into her mother’s arms as the blessing was given.  President Kalasans who is humble and full of the Spirit of the Lord, brought peace and calm to this little girl.  For those who were in the room to witness this miracle, his office became a sacred place.  Tears flowed freely down many cheeks. 

President Kalasans, along with his family, are an inspiration to everyone in the Kitti Branch.  The Kalasans have a handicapped teenage daughter which makes it difficult to attend church along with their eight other children. They try hard to keep their covenants and come to church. They find strength from the members as they all partake of the sweet Spirit in their branch. President Kalasans finds great joy in serving the Lord by serving his family and those in his branch.  He is keeping his promise he made at his baptism to be fully committed to the gospel.

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