Under the direction of the Caribbean Area Presidency and with inspiration from Elder Quentin L. Cook’s visit, Elder Claude Gamiette brought together the joint forces of the young single adults from the Barbados Bridgetown Mission through a historic initiative of the First Young Single Adult Trip to the Temple. Representatives from the islands of Barbados, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, Saint Vincent and French Guyana came together for their first visit to the Santo Domingo Temple in the Dominican Republic, from July 20th to 28th, 2018.
Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited the Caribbean from November 10th through November 20th, 2017. On this visit he addressed members and hosted a young single adult devotional. He was accompanied by his wife, Sister Mary Cook, and members of the Church’s Caribbean Area Presidency and their wives — Elder Walter F. González and Sister Zulma A. González; Elder Claudio D. Zivic and Sister Dina Noemí A. Zivic; and Elder Jose L. Alonso and Sister Rebecca S. Alonso.
Elder Claude Gamiette was present during his visit to Guadeloupe and expressed his concern for the isolation that many of the Young Single Adults in the islands feel. He wanted to break the isolation in a historic trip, the first time for many, to the Temple.
“Young Single Adults feel alone from being a small group in their islands. This experience will inspire them to keep great relations among each other and create great temple experiences,” shared Elder Gamiette.
For eight days, these Young Single Adults participated in a set of activities both spiritual and social, learning and interacting together in a journey that ended in tears of satisfaction.
Long before coming to the Dominican Republic, a committee compiled of representatives from these islands met in a coordinated effort to bring together all those around them to make this a successful experience. In a great ministering effort, Xavia, Faith, Ramona, Brittany, Jordan, Kelvin, Kenlyn, Andrew, Nia, Brittaey, Jonathan and Zariah connected to plan activities and bring people together to come to the temple.
Starting Friday July 20th, the very first group arrived accompanied by Brother and Sister Eclar from Guadeloupe. Fourteen Young Single Adults were the first, and more kept coming during the next two days for a total of over 50 attendants.
During the time of this trip, the YSA participated in indexing activities, devotionals, service activities, and a dating panel, as well as social activities with the Young Single Adults from the Santo Domingo Institute of Religion. They even went out bowling.
“I have been pondering about my life, my expectations, and the road blocks I’ve encountered. I have been needing guidance. The opportunity to enter the temple has given me the chance to be where my blessings are,” shared Brittany Henry, a 22-year-old Young Single Adult representative from St. Lucia and a Young Women advisor.
For many this was their first time at the Temple. For others this was the opportunity to renew the covenants they had made before they served their missions.
Sister Henry said that during this trip she has felt differently. She has gotten out of her comfort zone and has learned how things are done elsewhere just from making new friends here.
“It is not just a chance for Temple attendance; it is also a chance to make sacrifices together”, says Brother Jocelyn Eclar, from Guadeloupe, first counselor to the Mission President.
“You need not be afraid despite the dangers and challenges you will face. You will be blessed and protected when you seek righteous, worthwhile goals; plan and work with grit and determination; and rely and focus on faith, repentance, saving ordinances and the Savior’s atoning sacrifice as you endure to the end.”Elder Quentin L. Cook