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News Release

Youth from “Isles of the Sea” Gather in Guam as Fellow Disciples of Christ 

One of God’s promises recorded long ago by the prophet Nephi is that the Lord remembers “[t]hose who are upon the isles of the sea” (2 Nephi 29:7).  Evidence of the fulfillment of this magnificent promise was manifest this past June as youth from the many islands of Micronesia gathered on Guam to strengthen and celebrate their discipleship. 

The event was the Guam FSY (For the Strength of Youth) conference. Latter-day Saint Youth and friends from the Islands of Chuuk, Guam, Kosrae, Palau, Pohnpei, Saipan, and Yap participated. Many traveled long distances. Prayers were answered and miracles occurred to overcome obstacles and allow youth to be able to make the journey.  

Although the official conference lasted from June 19th to the 23rd, many participants arrived early or stayed a few days after the conference ended in order to have time to do temple work in the Yigo Guam Temple. For many, this was not only their first time flying from their island homes, but also their first opportunity to experience the blessings of the temple.  

“We were able to bring a lot of different youth from a lot of different islands all across Micronesia,” said Buck Jolley, co-director of the conference along with his wife Rachel Jolley. “That gave them a chance to see that there are other youth who have the same beliefs and struggles as they do. This was a great opportunity for them to come together, have their faith grow, and know that they are united in Christ.”  

“Our goal was to give the youth an experience that they would always remember,” added Rachel Jolley, “something to carry them through by helping them come unto Christ.” She went on to explain that by having fun together through various interactive games and activities, participants were able to develop a comradery and trust in each other. This bond allowed them to open up and strengthen each other during gospel-centered classes and discussions. 

Throughout the conference, the gift of tongues was manifest among the at least 7 unique languages of those in attendance. Each youth received a copy of the Book of Mormon in his or her own language, and translators were present during the many activities throughout the week. Many of the translators were returned missionaries who had previously served among the various islands. 

© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Geographically, the Micronesia Guam Mission is one of the largest missions in the world. As Ronin Jolley from Guam stated, “I think it was really cool that we could get all the islands together, especially because we are all part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and even if we couldn’t communicate directly, we could feel the Spirit together.”  

And feel the Spirit they did . . . in abundance. 

The theme of this year's FSY conferences throughout the world is “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ” (3rd Nephi 5:13). Throughout the Guam conference, youth participated in activities in which they were able to fellowship together and strengthen their understanding of and faith in the Savior Jesus Christ and His gospel.   

Shortly after arriving at the Holiday Resort on Tumon Bay where the youth stayed and most activities took place, youth were divided into small groups called companies. These companies adopted names and designed banners, and under the direction of youth counselors, spent the week participating together in reading and discussing scriptures, playing games, and singing and often dancing together. 

One of the culminating events was a game night held near Paseo Stadium, in which companies competed with each other in various games. This was followed by a variety show featuring talents such as dancing, singing, piano solos, and one demonstration of rapid-fire Rubik’s Cube solving. At every event, youth sang the moving theme song, “I am a disciple of Christ.”  

A particular privilege for those in attendance was the opportunity of meeting Elder John A. McCune, President of the Asia North Area Presidency, and his wife Debbra E. McCune. They interacted with the youth, helped to judge the company presentation of banners during game night, and also enjoyed several other activities.  

To highlight his visit, Elder McCune spoke at a special devotional. 

© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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To open his remarks, Elder McCune celebrated that this was the largest FSY conference ever held in the Micronesia Guam area, hosting more than 350 participants. He especially emphasized what a tremendous blessing it was to have a temple in Guam, and that the Yigo Guam Temple is among 350 temples either dedicated, under construction, or announced. 

A central theme that Elder McCune emphasized was regarding our central identity. “The island we’re from is an important part of who we are, but that’s not our primary identity,” he emphasized. “We are sons and daughters of God, covenant children of Christ and disciples of Christ.  This is our identity.” 

The spirit that was felt and the lessons learned at the 2024 Guam EFY conference will undoubtedly be a strength to those who attended the conference as they move forward with their lives. Following are comments and reflections expressed by a few of the youth who were present at the conference: 

Chisaleen Rano of the Yigo Ward in Guam stated that “FSY has helped me both physically and mentally . . .” She noted that she was “having a hard time, but these past few days I’ve been happy as I’ve felt God’s love.” 

“At FSY I learned that God loves me and that he has his own timing on answering my prayers.” – Shakira Alex – Pohnpei 

Margarena from Chuuk described how happy she felt at FSY and how strongly she “felt peace through her faith.” She stated that she “understands the things that God wants her to do.” 

Silvereen from Pohnpei stated that when she first arrived at the FSY conference she felt “really nervous.” But as the week progressed, she learned how to be a missionary, and that “God loves us all no matter what.” 

Sharell from Kosrae was very shy when she first arrived, but through the activities of singing, dancing, and playing piano, she was able to not be so shy.

Charity from the Yigo Ward in Guam is from Chuuk, but is half Yapese but was raised on Guam. Charity spoke of having fun at FSY even while feeling the Holy Ghost. 

Emily Blackburn (Santa Rita Ward, Guam) expressed her appreciation for “having dedicated time for studying the scriptures” at FSY, which “helps me become closer to Jesus and Heavenly Father. 

© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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“One thing I learned was that the more we covenant with God, the harder it is to break your bond with him; knowing this, I will continue to make covenants so that I don’t lose Him,” said Olivia Brown (Santa Riata Ward, Guam). 

“All the kind, brave, smart, and generous, people” at FSY brought Franersca Faiman from Saipan closer to Christ. 

Andre from Chuuk expressed that the strength of the youth he spent time with at FSY helped him feel closer to God. 

Sireleen from Chuuk said that it was “exciting to feel the Holy Ghost while reading the scriptures.” 

As the FSY participants said their goodbyes and left  Guam to return to their home islands, they undoubtedly took with them renewed commitments to live as disciples of Christ.  This commitment will undoubtedly be reinforced through memories of this wonderful gathering of fellow Latter-day Saint youth on the island of Guam. 

© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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