Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Youth Training at Pago Stake & Return to West Stake

The next day it POURED rain all morning. We stayed in and worked on reports. Early that evening we had a Youth training back over at Pago Stake. This was to be followed by a make-up session with West Stake to catch some of the leaders we had missed when our training there had been cancelled. There was quite a bit of distance between the two stakes, so we were a bit concerned about having to leave in a rush as soon as we finished the Youth training to get over to the next one in time, but we were determined we could make it work.

When we arrived at Pago Stake we were impressed by how well supported this training was. The chapel was absolutely full with young people – we counted over 100 and they were still coming in right up till the time the training started. The energy of this training was fantastic. The young people were very engaged. From start to finish, we felt that this was one of our best trainings ever. We hoped they would remember the feelings of that night and follow through by getting active with FamilySearch.
 When we arrived at West Stake, however, only a small handful of people were there. As we talked, it became apparent that the High Priest Group Leader we had met previously had brought members of his own family. Other than that, the only other people there were the FHC director Sis.Lotoaso and the Counselor in the Stake Presidency over family history. There were none of the other leaders we were hoping to train.

Initially we were rather disheartened by the lack of support from the stake, especially since we had to rush our schedule to make this session happen. We couldn’t help but wonder if our time would have been better spent in the FHC back at Pago Stake with some of the youth leaders to be sure they knew how to use the Trees program. However, once we got going with the training, we had a truly remarkable experience with this little group that confirmed the importance of “teaching the one”.

The High Priest Group Leader who was there was Bro. Robert Toelupe. He brought with him his wife, Sinuu, plus two grown daughters and a son-in-law. As we talked about the Spirit of Elijah his whole face came alive. He told us he never really understood this before. When he had heard us talk about this, and about the Find, Take, Teach message on Saturday, he knew he wanted his family to hear the message as well. He also reached out to the counselor in the Stake Presidency and made a point of telling him how important it was for him to be at this training. Bro. Toelupe bore a strong testimony about the importance of family history and was so appreciative of our willingness to come. As he spoke we were reminded of Lehi wanting his family to come to the tree to receive the fruit. This good man was a delight to meet with. We talked to him about his role as high Priest Group Leader and how he could be an influence for good in his ward by motivating others to get involved with family history work.

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