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Elder Soares visits Cuba, Puerto Rico

With tears in his eyes, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles informed a gathering of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cuba how keen he had been to go to them.

“I could not assist however keep in mind my first Church conferences in Brazil with 4 or 5 households in a small rented area on the second degree of a bakery. It was there that I realized the primary classes of the gospel. A quite simple place the place individuals such as you met, perhaps 4 or 5 households, however it was a time of formation for me to acquire my testimony of Jesus Christ and see the Church develop,” Elder Soares mentioned in a district convention on Nov. 13 in Vedado.

In the identical approach, he highlighted the pioneer character of the primary members of the Church in Cuba and the way the work would relaxation on the premise of their service throughout these years.

“My pricey brothers and sisters, be of fine cheer, regardless of the difficulties you might have to face, for the Lord has mentioned: ‘Be of fine cheer, due to this fact, and don’t concern, for I, the Lord, am with you and can defend you; and you’ll testify of me, sure Jesus Christ, that I’m the Son of the dwelling God; that I used to be, that I’m, and that I’m to come back,’” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:6), Elder Soares mentioned.

The convention was attended by about 220 individuals. Some individuals traveled as much as 12 hours from the jap facet of the island for the district convention, reported the Church’s Caribbean Newsroom.

In the course of the weekend, a particular baptismal service on the seaside was held for 4 new members of the Church, together with one girl who realized concerning the Church via social media and acquired her classes remotely from the missionaries.

A baptismal service is held within the ocean throughout a go to from Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to Havana, Cuba, on Nov. 13, 2022.

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Since its first conferences with a small group of two or three households in Havana, the Church has grown in Cuba as individuals share the gospel with household, pals and neighbors. At this time, the Church has about 400 members organized into three branches and a bunch that make up the Havana Cuba District.

Elder Soares delivered a particular blessing of affection and safety on the members in Cuba, to acknowledge the Savior Jesus Christ of their lives and transfer on with power to function true disciples “with pleasure in your hearts.”

“Might He bless you to persevere and enable you to to have hope within the gospel of Jesus Christ, the place you could find the peace you want,” Elder Soares mentioned.

Conferences with Cuban authorities and different religion leaders

Elder Soares is the third Apostle to go to Cuba. He was preceded by Elder David A. Bednar in February 2012 and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in June 2014, the place he organized the Church’s second department within the nation.

The Caribbean Newsroom report mentioned Elder Soares’ agenda included conferences with authorities leaders in Cuba — together with the top of the Workplace of Spiritual Affairs — the place they mentioned the progress of the Church.

“This has been a really optimistic assembly,” Elder Soares mentioned as he left the assembly. “The Church is advancing with agency steps and we really feel very optimistic concerning the future.”

Elder Soares arrived within the nation along with his spouse, Sister Rosana Soares, and Elder Eduardo Gavarret, Common Authority Seventy and president of the Caribbean Space, and his spouse, Sister Norma Gavarret. They visited numerous humanitarian organizations and religion companions who work with the Church to assist these in want on the island, particularly after current hurricanes.

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Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles holds a district coaching assembly in Havana, Cuba, on Nov. 13, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The leaders held an interdenominational dinner as nicely, which was attended by numerous non secular leaders to strengthen ties and construct nearer relationships.

The Reverend Father Ariel Suárez Jáuregui, assistant secretary of the Convention of Catholic Bishops of Cuba, commented: “This has been an affable assembly between brothers, during which we have now been capable of get pleasure from a fraternal spirit of cordiality and affection amongst these of us who profess the religion of Christ and who we hope would be the first of many sooner or later.”

Elder Soares’ go to to Puerto Rico

Earlier than visiting Cuba, Elder and Sister Soares went to Puerto Rico for the primary time. They had been accompanied by Elder Carl B. Cook dinner of the Presidency of the Seventy and his spouse, Sister Lynette Cook dinner.

Elder Soares referred to as it a unprecedented expertise to satisfy with members, missionaries and leaders of the Church on the island.

“We acknowledge the ability that the Gospel has delivered to their lives, via their obedience and dedication. It’s a fantastic nation, an island that has many sources and lots of good, type and pleasant individuals,” Elder Soares mentioned to Caribbean Newsroom in an article first revealed in Spanish.

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Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greets kids earlier than a devotional in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Nov. 9, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In a gathering on Nov. 9 on the Guaynabo Chapel broadcast to all Puerto Rico stakes, Elder Soares praised the expertise and beauty of its members for music and singing, and prompted laughter from the viewers when he mentioned, “I’m going to talk with President [Russell M.] Nelson concerning the Tabernacle Choir, as a result of we have now already discovered a superb substitute in Puerto Rico.”

He invited the viewers to emulate President Nelson’s instance.

“I’ve by no means met a kinder and extra tender-hearted particular person than President Nelson; he’s a particularly affected person and loving particular person. I additionally need to observe his instance from him,” Elder Soares mentioned.

Referencing the difficulties that Puerto Ricans have needed to face in recent times from flooding, hurricanes and different pure disasters, he warned concerning the significance of not shedding focus within the face of difficulties and temptations that might come up “due to a confused and troubled world ” , however that one should “observe the teachings of the prophet with good braveness, religion and disposition, after which belief that we will rely on the ability of God in our lives to face the challenges.”

On the finish of his message, he pronounced a particular blessing on these current and on all of the individuals of Puerto Rico, whom he invited to “stay and construct the dominion of God in their very own nation.”

Sister Soares spoke about protecting guarantees made to God to obtain his blessings and cultivating righteous household traditions. She additionally spoke concerning the want for the Church and its significance in “the development, progress and happiness of all the kids of God.”

Elder Cook dinner recalled the guarantees made by President Nelson throughout his go to to the island in September 2018 after Hurricane Maria, the place he mentioned “higher days are forward for the individuals of Puerto Rico.” A month later, President Nelson introduced a temple for San Juan within the October 2018 basic convention.

Elder Cook dinner added, “President Nelson has mentioned: ‘I promise that spending elevated time within the temple will bless your life in methods nothing else can.’ I testify that it’s so.”

Elder Soares and Elder Cook dinner, together with their wives and different leaders from the Caribbean Space, additionally participated in a particular assembly with all of the full-time missionaries serving on the island.

And so they visited Plaza Las Américas in San Juan to see the exhibition, “My Household. Mi Gente” (My Household. My Folks”), a Church-sponsored household historical past presentation that helps guests discover the origin of their final title, FamilySearch sources, and different instruments to start their very own household historical past. It should run till November 26.

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Elder Ulisses Soares and his spouse, Sister Rosana Soares, tour the exhibition “My Household. My Folks” (My Household. My Folks) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Nov. 9, 2022.

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