Youth Conference in Venezuela Strengthens Testimonies of Missionary Work
By Hikari Loftus, Church News and Events
“When the young people shared their testimonies about the conference, very few spoke of the pool or party. All spoke of that beautiful missionary activity.” —Yusmelis Guerra, Barcelona Venezuela Stake Young Women president
In September 2012, 150 youth from the Barcelona Venezuela Stake took their missionary preparation to the streets during a three-day youth conference.
As part of their youth conference activities, the youth spent an entire day sharing the gospel with people in a nearby village.
Before their proselyting experience began, youth attended a mini training led by the Young Men presidents in the stake. The training covered chapters in Preach My Gospel on how to present gospel messages, as well as how to explain and deliver pamphlets on the Restoration and the plan of salvation.
Following the training, the youth were divided into three groups. Each group was assigned a “district” and “zone” leader, and each teen was accompanied by one of their leaders. Sticking to their zone, youth and their adult companions knocked on doors and talked with people in the street, sharing lessons on the Restoration of the gospel and the plan of salvation.
“The reaction of the people was positive. Very few were rejected,” stake Young Women president Yusmelis Guerra said. “People stopped what they were doing to listen to the young people and were very receptive and gentle with them.”
Stake leaders wanted the youth to share the gospel with others and have the opportunity to feel like future missionaries. Leaders also wanted the young men to feel the responsibility that missionary leaders have over their districts and zones. Most importantly, they hoped to strengthen the testimonies of missionary work, the Restoration, and Jesus Christ.
“When the young people shared their testimonies about the conference, very few spoke of the pool or party. All spoke of that beautiful missionary activity,” Sister Guerra said. “As leaders, we are sure that these 150 youth were impacted by the conference.”
On other days of the conference, youth listened to speakers talk about dating, how to better manage their time, and how to recognize ways they can be distracted from the straight and narrow path. The youth also participated in a pool party, made costumes from recyclable material, and staged skits based on scripture passages.
“This conference fulfilled its objectives,” Sister Guerra said. “Seeing the youth complete with diligence their assignments, seeing the entire group walking with enthusiasm toward the village to preach, and then hearing them share their testimonies is something that makes every leader happy.”