News Release

From Brisbane to Africa a Lifetime Dream

Koli Jr Aiono from Brisbane Australia has a creative passion for things of beauty. His vision of one day building beautiful useful structures inspires his architectural educational pursuits. So why would this young man with a bright future ahead of him delay his education to serve a mission in Africa for the next two years?

Koli Jr Aiono is fulfilling a lifetime dream. He has chosen to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ghana, Africa where his efforts are providing hope for less fortunate families and his testimony of the Book of Mormon is inspiring their lives with promise.


Jr as he is known to his family has three brothers and two sisters. He is the oldest child in his family. His Mum, Sauimalea, a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remembers, even as a little boy Jr has always wanted to serve a mission. “I knew at age twelve that he was my missionary” she says.

The Book of Mormon helped prepare him for his mission. He loves the stories of the prophets.  Jr learned from Nephi, one of the prophets in the Book of Mormon, that the Lord will always prepare a way. He told his Mum at a young age, “The Lord has to come before anything else.”


Living in Samoa helped Jr prepare for his mission in Ghana Africa. He grew up walking on bare feet and using his bare hands to serve his family and his community by cooking food, carrying wood, fetching water and washing clothes.

Today in Ghana Jr teaches a village about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is also serving by collecting firewood and teaching the villagers how to cook bananas in coconut milk, a recipe he learned at home from his Mum.

“The Lord confirms in my heart every single day that my son is safe says Sauimalae as she looks at the map where Jr is serving. I used to feel sad when I thought of Jr so far away from home. But now I read his emails and realise he is happy serving this mission. Heavenly Father tells me, don’t worry, I will look after your son."


“Jr is happy teaching the people in Ghana”, Koli Sr says. The people in the bush have nothing, but they are always happy.”  They love learning about The Church and Jr loves teaching them.  


The Church's missionary program is one of its most recognised characteristics. Mormon missionaries can be seen on the street of hundreds of major cities in the world as well as in thousands of smaller communities and villages. In Africa The Mormon Church has 29 missions and 498,976 members.

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