News Release

Elder and Sister Pearson Bid Farewell to the Peoples of the Pacific

Latter-day Saints express gratitude for their ministry

Kevin W. Pearson, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and his wife June Langeland Pearson are leaving the many friends they have made throughout the Pacific. The Pearsons arrived in New Zealand in August 2011 and will return to the United States next week.

Elder O. Vincent Haleck, who has been asked to step into the role Elder Pearson is leaving, stated, "Elder and Sister Pearson have served and loved the people of the Pacific Area whom they have served faithfully in the past five years. They have always provided wise and loving counsel wherever they have spoken and taught.

"For those of us who live in the 'isles of the sea,' we will remember how Elder Pearson reminded us through the scriptures of the great blessings declared by the Lord through keeping the commandments.

"We will miss them as dear friends and servants whose contributions are measured by the many individual lives they have touched for good throughout the Pacific. They move on with new assignments in the Church and will continue to bless people wherever they serve and minister."

The third member of the Pacific Area Presidency, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, commented, "We have learned so much from Elder and Sister Pearson . . . and are so happy the Lord is blessing them with their new assignment where they will be close to their family. They have given their hearts and souls to building the kingdom in the Pacific Area."

The Pearsons will be returning to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. They have six grown children.

"Elder and Sister Pearson leave a legacy behind after five wonderful years in the Pacific Area," said Elder Robert J. Dudfield of Melbourne, Australia. "Elder Pearson will be fondly remembered for his passion and love of the Pacific . . . We will miss them dearly."

Elder Pearson served three years as a counselor and two years as president in the Church's Pacific Area Presidency.

Known for welcoming all peoples, the Pearsons recently hosted luncheons in Christchurch and Wellington to spotlight the needs of people new to New Zealand, including refugees, migrants, and others seeking asylum. They have also visited people in need across the Pacific. They were in Fiji when Cyclone Winston struck the island nation this year, and helped to assess needs and mobilize the Church's disaster relief efforts.

"I have admired the Pearsons' devotion and love in serving the Church and the wonderful example of how they live the gospel," says Cyndee Hamilton of Sydney, Australia. "Their sacrifice in ministering here in the Pacific inspires me to want to live my life as they do. They are the ultimate example of true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Elder David Thomson of Hamilton, NZ adds, "Elder Pearson's connection to New Zealand goes back to his grandfather who served here as a full-time missionary in 1907. Because of the Pearsons' intensely personal approach, you always know that they care about you as a person, whether it is remembering your name, or asking about the children, or inviting you to follow the Saviour more closely. And who can forget the vital messages contained in Elder Pearson’s powerful teaching: 'How often should we study the Book of Mormon? Every day! Every day! Every day!' 'Where is the best place to be in the last days? Stay by the tree!'

"The Pearsons' five years in the Pacific have left an indelible spiritual mark on all who know them."

Watch a video of Elder Pearson speaking at the Church's worldwide general conference in April 2015:

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