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Interpreters Help Samoans Participate More Fully in Wellington Stake Conference

On Saturday 25 August, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met together in a Saturday night session of stake conference in the Wellington suburb of Hataitai.

A stake is a group of Latter-day Saint congregations in a geographical area. Members and guests of each stake around the world meet together for stake conference twice each year.

Elder Glenn A. Burgess, Area Seventy, presided at the meeting that highlighted ministering—a more focused approach to serving members and friends in the community and meeting their needs.

Six months earlier, at a similar conference, Elder Craig A. Cardon, then a member of the Area Presidency for the Church in the Pacific Area, felt inspired to recommend that future conferences add translation accommodation for Samoan members.



He was concerned that the Samoan members were not able to completely understand the proceedings and asked the local leaders to investigate and find a solution.

Peter S. Thomson, president of the Wellington Stake started to look for members who could act as translators. Under his direction, Samoan translators were selected.

Sainofo Finaipepe accepted the invitation to translate from English language to Samoan during the conference’s Saturday night session. Sainofo served a mission in the Samoa Apia Mission from 2016 to 2018 where her language skills were honed as she taught the people she served about Jesus Christ.

“This is a gift,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to be able to translate for my people so they can have a deeper understanding of the counsel from their leaders, to grow their testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and do what the Lord would have them do.”

Anoiovise Leaupepe was also asked to interpret in the conference.

She said, “I am an interpreter for government departments, courts, police and hospitals. When I was asked to help, I jumped for joy! I am grateful for the opportunity to help my people understand.”

Responses of gratitude for this service were received from Samoan members who attended the sessions of conference.


Ete Taula from Hataitai said, “This is the first time I have attended a conference with the Samoan translation. Normally, I understand a bit, but tonight it was perfect. I am grateful to our translators for their talents and helping us.”

Milaiese lese-Alofipo, also from Hataitai, said, “It has to this point been hard to feel the spirit of the messages, because I didn’t understand all of the words. Now I am very happy—I took a lot of notes this evening.”

With tears in her eyes Milaiese shared that she felt inspired to bring her grandsons to church, even though they were active little boys and could be disruptive. She knew after understanding Elder Burgess’ remarks in her own tongue, that bringing them to church is where they should be.

“I have had a hard time understanding the speakers but hearing the gospel in my language has helped me feel the Spirit.”

Watch a short video on hearing the voice of the Spirit.


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