News Release

An Apostle of the Lord fulfills a promise and visits the ABC Islands in the Caribbean

For the first time, the island of Bonaire receives a visit from an Apostle

“What I received is hope, both for myself, for my beloved island, and the Church here”, was the heartfelt reaction of a member of the Church on the island of Bonaire after experiencing the presence of an Apostle of the Lord.

This historic event took place during the recent visit of Elder Ulisses Soares to the island of Bonaire, on January 28, 2024. It marked the inaugural visit of an Apostle to this small island, which has just over twenty-four thousand inhabitants. Two days before this visit, Elder Soares had traveled to the island of Aruba, where he conducted a devotional for the members of the three islands—Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao—comprising the ABC District. The members of the other islands were able to participate in the devotional through a digital broadcast.

One of the central themes of Elder Soares' remarks focused on the importance of studying the words of the living prophet, specifically referencing the last General Conference where President Nelson encouraged us to “think celestial.” Elder Soares provided two key ways to help achieve this celestial perspective. First, he emphasized the significance of daily study of the Book of Mormon. He highlighted the transformative power of the Book of Mormon, stressing that consistent study and application of its teachings can lead to profound changes in our lives. Elder Soares quoted President Nelson's promises regarding the Book of Mormon, emphasizing that daily reading and study can result in making better decisions each day.

Second, he invited all the participants to follow the prophet's counsel to overcome the world and find rest. The Apostle explained that God's rest is having strength when challenges and problems come. “Through the challenges and trials of life we can become better disciples”, shared Elder Soares. “Experiencing these circumstances with faith during our mortal journey can help us to turn our hearts to the Savior, and see how the power of divinity can be manifested in our daily life, this is also thinking celestial”, he said.

At the conclusion of each meeting, both in Aruba and Bonaire, Elder Soares took time to personally greet and engage with each member in attendance. Accompanying him on this visit were his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, and Elder Moises Villanueva, second counselor in the Area Presidency, along with his wife, Sister Leticia Villanueva.

It is worth noting that, as an apostle and accompanied by his wife in 2019, Elder Soares visited Curaçao, where he also held a devotional exclusively for the members of that island. With this recent visit to Bonaire, Elder Soares has now fulfilled his promise to visit all three islands in the ABC District.

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