An Audience with 30 Catholic Youths

An Audience with 30 Catholic Youths

It wasn’t happenstance that Sister Crabb and Sister Fuglislater ran into Tracy on the train. She’s a young single adult of the Catholic faith. Through Tracy, our missionaries were invited to give a presentation to a group of Youths at the Catholic Church where she’s a member of. They were particularly interested to know what brought the missionaries to Singapore, and why they were doing whatever it was they were doing.

So, on Saturday 29 November 2014, Elders Hunsaker, McCarthy, and Sisters Crabb and Fuglislater and I found ourselves at the Church of the Lady of Perpetual Succor, a Catholic Church in the Siglap area. We felt like a mini United Nations because the 5 of us represented 4 countries. Sister Fuglislater is from Switzerland, Elder McCarthy is from New Zealand, while Sister Crabb and Elder Hunsaker are from the US.

There were 30 youths in attendance that day, ranging in ages from 15-18. Almost all are members of their Church, having already been baptized there. Some of them were investigating the Church, or, as they called it, on a journey with the members as part of a “discovery” process. When asked, not a single one of them said they had any LDS friends, and only a handful knew or heard of the Mormons.

As an ice breaker, the audience was shown pictures of LDS celebrities. There was whooping and hollering when David Archuleta’s picture was shown. They had no idea he was a member. Then they went stir crazy when shown a picture of the band Imagine Dragons. Clearly, the missionaries knew how to connect with the youths!

The missionaries did an excellent job, focusing their presentation around the theme: “I’m a Mormon”. They took the audience through what their lives were before they came on their missions, and through some of our core beliefs. The video clip of them opening their mission letters was the highlight for many in the audience, and the tears and familial settings resonated with some. Clearly, they admired the sacrifice our missionaries made to labor in the mission.

From talking about their pre-mission lives to why they were in Singapore, they also covered considerable doctrinal grounds, from the Plan of Salvation on through the resurrection.

At the end of the presentation, copies of the Book of Mormon were handed out to all, followed by a very lively Q&A session. The missionaries fielded the questions very well and with a maturity and confidence that belied their years. It was an open and honest discussion. I sensed a tacit respect for the Elders and Sisters - that they were willing to put their education and a youthful and exciting lifestyle on hold for their faith.

After the event, I asked a few of the youths how they felt about the presentation. Perhaps they were just being nice, but there was a unanimous appreciation for the opportunity to learn about our Church and our beliefs.

One of the concerns the leader of this group of youths has is the drop-out rate among their youths; the sight of our missionaries setting aside a chunk of their youthful lives to serve the Lord must have been inspiring to them. We should be proud of our missionaries.

By Eric Woon