News Story

115 Care Packages for Quarantined Missionaries

More than 100 missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are currently in two-week quarantine in Brisbane as part of mandatory requirements to ensure they are in good health prior to being reassigned to various missions around the country.

As a goodwill gesture, the Church also assisted in repatriating 83 Australian citizens back home, at no cost, on the same flights as the missionaries.

In an effort to help the missionaries feel more at home, Lara Johnston, Relief Society president of the Brisbane Australia Stake (diocese), assembled care packages for each of the 115 missionaries. 

When she first heard about the need, Lara said: "Leave it with me. I'll sort this out." She said she felt blessed to find good bargains as she shopped and stayed within her budget.  


In addition to chocolates, lollies and chips, each missionary received games, a version of Hacky Sack, puzzles and Australian socks.

Elder Carl Maurer, a senior Church leader in Brisbane, noted, "Nothing like a pair of Australian socks to make you feel at home and to remember your 14 days in quarantine."  

He also referred to this effort as "the Christlike thing to do." 

Elder Maurer went on to quote a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants 100:3 which includes the words of the Lord to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon: “Behold, and lo, I have much people in this place, in the regions round about; and an effectual door shall be opened in the regions round about in this eastern land.”

Elder Maurer added, "It is my feeling that these faithful reinforcements have arrived just in time. We are so grateful to each of them."

Lara Johnston only had one and a half days to shop for and assemble the care packages. She offered to assemble packages again next week, but with some advance notice, plans to include home baked goods. 

She already has a design in mind for the outside of the bags to encourage each missionary to stay in their room during quarantine.  "CTR—Choose the Room."

"CTR" is an initialism common in Latter-day Saint communities and families, which stands for "Choose the Right."   

Each missionary received instructions from the Australian government explaining the guidelines and requirements of being in quarantine. They also received a welcome letter from the Church's Pacific Area Presidency, providing direction, encouragement and suggestions of things they could be doing whilst in lockdown. 

Missionaries were encouraged to do the following:

1. As soon as possible, make contact with your family

2. Take advantage of this time to finetune your spirituality as a missionary

3. Be the very best example as one of the Lord's missionaries

4. Maintain your missionary standards at all times

5. Take time using technology to connect with family and loved ones

6. Prepare now for a new assignment that will come at the end of this quarantine period

The Area Presidency reminded the missionaries of the recent instruction from Church President, Russell M. Nelson who stated: "You are taking part in the greatest challenge, the greatest cause and the greatest work on earth…the gathering of Israel."

The letter concluded with expressions of love and appreciation for each missionary, praying for the Lord to bless them during this unique time.

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