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Primary Children Have Their Own FSY and Mission Prep in Portugal and Colombia

See 2 recent Primary activities that exemplify the Children and Youth program

Primary children and leaders in the Vila Nova de Gaia 1st Ward, Porto Portugal Stake, hold a daylong activity modeled after For the Strength of Youth conferences on Saturday, June 15, 2024.2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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By Mary Richards, Church News

Teenagers may be going to For the Strength of Youth (FSY) conferences but that doesn’t mean their younger siblings also can’t have fun. The Primary children in the Vila Nova de Gaia 1st Ward, Porto Portugal Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had their own “FSY children” activity this month.

The event was inspired by FSY and adapted for the younger ages, explained the Church’s Portugal Newsroom.

Beginning early on Saturday, June 15, the meetinghouse was filled with laughter and excitement — with group activities, games and competitions challenging the children’s creativity and cooperation. The children painted banners and created their own group chants with their team leaders.

But they also had moments of reflection and spiritual growth. Each game was designed to not only entertain, but also to teach important lessons about teamwork, friendship and following Jesus Christ. The children also spent time exploring the chapel’s surroundings and learning more about Christ’s teachings.

At the end of the day, a dance was organized in the cultural hall — which had been decorated with colorful ribbons and balloons. Parents were invited to participate in the dance.

“This final moment allowed everyone, children and adults, to celebrate together the bonds of friendship and faith that were strengthened throughout the day,” wrote Ana da Cruz, a member of the ward.

Also this month, Primary children in the Cartagena Colombia Stake had a week full of initiatives with a focus on preparing them for future missionary service, reported the Church’s Colombia Newsroom.

Primary children in the Cartagena Colombia Stake take part in an activity where they learned how to be missionaries in a news release dated June 19, 2024.2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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To begin, each child received a letter assigning them to serve in either the Colombia Barranquilla, Utah Salt Lake City East, Peru Lima Northwest or Mexico Puebla East Missions. At the stake center, the children were divided by missions into different rooms. There, the full-time missionaries serving in their stake shared their experiences and trained the children in different aspects of missionary service.

During the week, the children worked on providing service within their homes, making calls and ministering visits to their friends, and inviting others to participate in a family home evening, which concluded with a message centered on Jesus Christ.

Yeidis Sofía Pineda Contrera, one of the participants, said: “I liked the talk that the missionaries gave about what we can do in the mission. I was able to do the activities of the week, and I felt very happy. I liked calling my friend; I felt very happy sharing about the word of God.”

Primary leader Vianny Liseth Hernández Zambrano said each day of the week, several children from her ward sent photos of the activities they were doing. She saw the children making friends and inviting friends to Church.

“It was a very special and meaningful experience for the children,” she said, adding, “It taught the children how to be a missionary, not only full-time, but every day of their lives.”

Primary children in the Cartagena Colombia Stake listen to full-time missionaries during a Primary activity as reported in a news release dated June 19, 2024.2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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More About Primary Activities and the Children and Youth Program

Both of these activities in Portugal and Colombia integrated the Church’s Children and Youth program, which seeks to help children strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ and progress along the covenant path. This is done by learning and growing through four areas of personal development: spiritual, social, physical and intellectual.

Children may begin attending Primary activities in January of the year they turn 8. Children are organized by age groups, and boys and girls generally meet separately where the number of children and circumstances permit.

Primary activities are held two times a month, where possible, but can be held more or less frequently.

Service and activity guidelines for children are found on primary.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and include principles to help Primary leaders support children and families through service projects and wholesome activities.

Activities should:

  • Be planned and carried out by branch or ward Primary leaders, with support from the bishopric or branch presidency.
  • Strengthen the rising generation’s faith in Jesus Christ and help children and their families progress along the covenant path as they meet life’s challenges.
  • Include seeking revelation to ensure that each service and activity has a clear purpose.
  • Connect the children to the example of Jesus Christ by providing opportunities to serve others and to develop spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually (see Luke: 2:52).
  • Provide fun and engaging experiences that build testimony, strengthen families, and foster unity and personal growth.
  • Follow all Church safety policies and guidelines.

Ideas for service and activities can be found on ChildrenandYouth.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and on the Primary Worldwide Instagram and Facebook accounts.

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