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    Tuvalu

    When Joseph B. Keeler became president of the Micronesia-Guam Mission in July 1983 he found that Tuvalu was part of the mission but there was no record of any members there. While visiting Tarawa in 1983 he became acquainted with two of his missionaries, Teuai Lekasa and Tekafa Tinai, and learned that they were originally from Tuvalu. They had become acquainted with the Church and were baptized while students at Liahona High School in Tonga. They told President Keeler that there were about 25 members of the Church in Funafuti, Tuvalu’s main village, all converts from either Liahona or Moroni High School in Fiji.

    Keeler was not able to visit Tuvalu until September 1984. He and his wife arrived unannounced, but Tavita Tapu, another Church member who had joined the Church while attending a Church school, worked at the airport and immediately recognized the man dressed in a white shirt and tie and wearing a missionary tag as probably someone from the Church. He helped the Keelers get a room at the only hotel in Funafuti, then he got on his bike and notified all the members he could find. They met with the Keelers at the hotel that same day and held a testimony meeting. President Keeler assigned Glen and Shirley Cornwall from Murray, Utah, to begin the work of organizing a branch (a small congregation) in Tuvalu and registering the Church with the local government. They arrived in March 1985 and held the very first sacrament meeting in their hotel room with seven present. Two sister missionaries, Nolaise Maumau (a native of Tuvalu) and Kalou Tetapo, arrived in April and were joined by Elders Tevasa and Popeieta Raponi in May 1985.

    The Cornwalls began the process of registering the Church (which required completion of a petition with 50 signatures). Ward and Madge Little replaced the Cornwalls in August 1985 and continued with the registration process. The first baptism in Tuvalu was Tepenga Luka, who was baptized in the lagoon on 14 December 1985. Official Church recognition was received on 16 December 1985. Sixty-two members and friends of the Church had signed the petition.

    Richard Hunter
    New Zealand
    Phone:  64(9)488-5572
    Mobile: 64-21-240-7804

    E-mail: Hunterra@ldschurch.org

    257

    Total Church Membership

    1

    Congregations

    North America

    9,253,590

    Total Church Membership

    192

    Missions

    2,866

    Family History Centers

    18,159

    Congregations

    109

    Temples

    South America

    4,038,045

    Total Church Membership

    94

    Missions

    979

    Family History Centers

    5,545

    Congregations

    17

    Temples

    Europe

    516,003

    Total Church Membership

    43

    Missions

    710

    Family History Centers

    1,422

    Congregations

    12

    Temples

    Asia

    1,155,764

    Total Church Membership

    42

    Missions

    333

    Family History Centers

    1,973

    Congregations

    8

    Temples

    Oceania (Pacific)

    552,825

    Total Church Membership

    18

    Missions

    338

    Family History Centers

    1,251

    Congregations

    10

    Temples

    Africa

    578,310

    Total Church Membership

    31

    Missions

    285

    Family History Centers

    2,004

    Congregations

    3

    Temples

    Worldwide Statistics

    16,118,169

    Total Church Membership

    421

    Missions

    159

    Temples

    30,506

    Congregations

    67,049

    Missionaries

    15

    Missionary Training Centers

    4

    Universities & Colleges

    404,270

    Seminary Students Enrollment

    357,760

    Institute Student Enrollment

    5,100

    Family History Centers

    10,238

    Welfare Services Missionaries (Incl. Humanitarian Service Missionaries)

    188

    Published Languages

    140

    Countries with Family History Centers

    189

    Countries Receiving Humanitarian Aid (Since 1985)