Vanuatuan Latter-day Saint Daniel Ringiau and his wife, Juliette Ringiau, recently brought their children to a devotional featuring visiting general Church leaders.
In a Facebook post on the Church’s Pacific Newsroom page, Daniel Ringiau said that watching Sister Amy A. Wright, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, get down to eye level to talk to the children during the meeting reminded him of how the Savior ministered to Nephite children in the Book of Mormon. “I saw Sister Wright doing the same thing that Jesus did by ministering to our children this evening, as far as going down to their level so our children could feel the love of the Savior.”
Sister Wright and Sister Andrea Muñoz Spannaus, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, visited several countries in the Pacific while on a ministry trip in September, sharing Christ-focused messages with the area’s children and youth.
The sister leaders began their trip in Fiji. Sister Wright and her husband, Brother James Wright, and Elder Peter F. Meurs and his wife, Sister Maxine Meurs, then traveled to Samoa while Sister Spannaus and her husband, Brother Alin Spannaus, traveled with Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi, and his wife, Sister Amy Jaggi, to Vanuatu.
Sister Wright and Sister Spannaus in Fiji
While visiting the island country of the Republic of Fiji, which is home to more than 23,000 Latter-day Saints, Sister Wright and Sister Spannaus participated in a youth devotional at the Church College Fiji campus.
The women leaders and Elder Meurs and Elder Jaggi, who are both General Authority Seventies and serve in the Church’s Pacific Area presidency, and their spouses received a warm welcome from more than 300 youth.
“It is a delight to be in Fiji, helping parents and leaders, children, youth, young adults and friends of the Church look to Jesus Christ for peace and power in their lives to overcome the challenges of this world, and to experience the blessings of God every day,” Elder Meurs told Pacific Newsroom.
During the devotional, Sister Wright taught that children can help gather Israel by being kind and doing good. “Everyone can help to gather yourselves and others to Jesus Christ. As we gather to Jesus Christ, He leads us to the temple. It’s through temple covenants that we can live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as eternal families.”
In speaking to the youth, Sister Spannaus shared songs from the 2023 youth album to show how music can be a powerful resource for keeping Jesus Christ in “our thoughts and helping us overcome fears and doubts,” she said.
Sister Spannaus also testified that “Jesus Christ has the power to help us. We need to have more Jesus Christ in our lives. Our lives need to be filled with Jesus Christ.”
Selai Koroinamua, who attended the devotional, said: “I felt the Savior’s love. Though I go through trials, the covenants that I have made with Heavenly Father help me to remember I am loved.”
Sister Wright and Elder and Sister Meurs also met with Homes of Hope Director Mark Roche to present a donation from the Church: a vehicle that will be used to support the organization’s work of providing care for girls and young women in vulnerable situations.
The vehicle will transport young people to medical and other appointments while they are being cared for by Homes of Hope staff.
“We want every girl and young woman at Homes of Hope, and every girl and young woman in Fiji, to know that God knows them and loves them. We are here today to offer our support on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” said Elder Meurs.
Sister Spannaus participated in a service project with young women to put together care packages at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital. Elder and Sister Jaggi and Sister Spannaus met with staff of St. Christopher’s Home for children and then presented the care packages.
While in Fiji, Elder and Sister Meurs and Sister Wright also met with the Fiji government’s minister for women, Linda Tabuya.
During their meeting they discussed how to work together to strengthen families, the challenges of seasonal workers, and providing support and refuge for vulnerable women and children.
Sister Wright in Samoa; Sister Spannaus in Vanuatu
From Fiji, the Church leaders then split up. Sister Spannaus and Elder Jaggi and their spouses traveled to Samoa, a country with close to 88,000 Latter-day Saints.
In a Facebook post, Elder Jaggi wrote, “We are witnessing the power of the rising generation. As we have met with children, youth and others, one by one, we are experiencing miracles while ministering.”
In a devotional, Sister Spannaus taught the youth about their divine identity as children of God, their capacity and their potential.
While Sister Spannaus and Elder Jaggi flew west to the Samoan islands, Sister Wright and Elder Meurs traveled east to the archipelago nation of Vanuatu, where the 11,000 Church members who live there are preparing for a temple.
During a meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu, which included about 300 children, the Church leaders testified, “Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ love you.”