News Release

Papua New Guinea Holds First Ever Family Discovery Day

On Saturday, 12 November 2016, Family Discovery Day came to Papua New Guinea. The event was organised by Wendy and John Payne, missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

The half-day was filled with activities to help raise awareness of the importance of recording family histories in PNG. The group of approximately 120 gathered in the chapel at Four Mile to begin the day. The 'Purpose of Families' video was shown. It was followed by testimonials of personal family history stories from Barbara Liri and Claire Bruder, both of Gerehu District. They each shared strong testimonies of the blessings they have received from finding and taking family histories. They are now teaching their fellow countrymen. 

 Church leader, President Moasope McCarthy transported the Young Single Adults (YSA) and other youth to the Bomana War Cemetery for a photo service project. The youth took pictures with their mobile phones of more than 300 of the 3800 headstones in the cemetery. Those pictures are now being uploaded to at the LDS Service Centre. The youth were quite affected by the ages of those who had served and died. Comments such as, "he was the same age as me", and "he was only 16" were made to President McCarthy. The youth also heard a testimonial at the cemetery from church member Loa Hila. She told of wonderful experiences searching for her own family. 


During the time that the youth were at the cemetary taking photos of the graves, the younger children and their parents gatherd at the Four Mile chapel. They rotated between a mobile-making activity, a family tree fill-in activity, and colouring activity. These fun and teaching activities helped them think about their own families and ancestors.  At the end of the rotation, all gathered in the chapel once more to hear a brief testimony from Melinda Arika, age 8, who with her family just recently returned from the Fiji temple where they were sealed together as a family. Her father, Andrew, then bore a fervent testimony of the blessings his family received at the temple and the wonderful spirit which attended them for the whole visit.  

From this event, everyone left, eager to start gathering stories from those in the village who still remember about their ancestors. 

Family Search is a genealogy organisation operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is the largest genealogy organisation in the world. FamilySearch gathers, preserves, and shares genealogical records worldwide.

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