News Release

Young Single Adult Mormon Convention in Swaziland

Games, laughter, fun, faith, and food, made for a great day for the Swaziland Young Single Adult (YSA) Convention. Young single adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came from Gege, Nhlangano, and Manzini, Swaziland to gather at the Church House in Manzini for the event.

The theme of the YSA convention was "Olympic Challenge" and with the efforts of Elder and Sister Lombardi, Senior missionaries in Swaziland, it all came to pass. Elder and Sister Zawacky, senior missionaries in Durban, came to help with the food. Elder Zawacky made "Lamanite Tacos" naming them after a group of people living in the Book of Mormon times. Sister Zawacky put together arm bands, signs, and prizes for the games. With the help of Elder and Sister Gunderson - Education Fund Missionaries, and Elder and Sister Murdock - Public Affairs Missionaries, from Durban, the final touches were accomplished.

The YSA group started arriving at noon, and before long there were over 70 young adults ready to celebrate their faith. The group was sub-divided into five groups, each with different armband colours. Olympic Games, such as a relay, shot put, and discus were manned by Elder Lombardi. The "Trust Fall" was organized by Elder Murdock. Participants stood on a wall about 1 1/2 meters high and fell backwards into the arms of about 10 friends. This activity teaches how important it is to have friends you can trust, along with being a trusted friend. Sister Gunderson led teams in an enthusiastic game of Book of Mormon Trivia.

A wonderful lunch was enjoyed by everyone out on the beautiful Church lawn. The Lamanite Tacos were a hit. The YSA were invited into the Chapel to relax and enjoy some songs and a spiritual devotional. The spirit and reverence in the Chapel was a welcome rest from the day’s games.

Back out on the lawn, the music started and the activities continued. The YSA showed what great dancers they were, and taught Sister Murdock some Swazi dances. She, in return, taught them a little culture from the United States by teaching them some Western line dancing. The unity and fun shown through dancing is one of the most amazing things that cultures can share with each other. However, it seemed that the "Macarena" is a dance known worldwide.

After the event, many of the YSA participants were reluctant to leave, as this had been such a great and rewarding day in so many ways. Funukwenzani Magagula said, "I was very afraid of risking, or trusting. Now, I have told myself that I will trust myself. I want to focus on a bright future. I love the Church so much. Today changed my life."

Mpilo Nkambule, from Manzini, was asked what he thought of the event. He stated, "I enjoyed the friendship and bonding, and getting to know new people. It was fun eating together, playing together, learning new dancing styles, and just having fun.”

All who participated, including the Senior Missionary Couples, hope that this will be an annual event. "We need to get these members of the Church to know other young single members that have the same values, and know that they can have good, wholesome fun - and maybe even get some of them married," said Sister Lombardi. 



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