News Release

Girls Travel from Papua New Guinea to Utah to Fiji for Their Church

Missionaries leave family, friends and school to share their faith

Sister Angela Kinga and Sister Julia Kesa (female missionaries are called sisters) left their homes in Papua New Guinea in March to enter the Missionary Training Centre (MTC) in Provo, Utah.  As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the two are off to serve an 18 month mission in Fiji Suva.

When Sister Kesa was asked how she felt about her time at the MTC she said, “I like the MTC and learning a different language.  Meeting every kind of missionary is an enjoyable experience and will make a good memory for me." 

In the case of Fiji, missionaries, wherever thy are from, learn the principal Fijian language which is based on the language Bau, which according to Wikipedia, is an East Fijian dialect.  They will also teach in English.  This means the two Papua New Guinea sisters will learn two languages for their mission, because their English is only at a basic level.

“I loved all the activities here,” Sister Kesa continued, “and loved the temple. That was a very beautiful occasion for me.”

Sister Kinga said, “I love the MTC and the kind sister missionaries and the elders. Everyone here stopped me from feeling too homesick.

“I will miss my younger sister,” she commented. “She is my only sibling and also my best friend.”

At MTC’s, missionaries receive religious instruction, language training and learn teaching skills.  They also develop a respect and cultural understanding for the area and countries where they will serve. The training lasts anywhere from two to eight weeks, depending on language needs. There are 15 training centres around the globe. 

The Church has more than 80,000 missionaries serving around the globe at any one time.  These missionary efforts are based on the New Testament pattern of missionaries serving in pairs, teaching the gospel and baptising believers in the name of Jesus Christ.

When Sister Kinga, whose English is more advanced, was asked why she wanted to serve a mission she said, “Because I want to share Heavenly Father’s gospel to others who don’t know it yet.  I also want to be a good example to the young men and women in my branch (congregation).  I am the first one in my branch to serve a mission. My father is the president of our branch.

“When I was four years old, my parents started teaching me how to read The Book of Mormon.  We always read phrases, every morning and every night.  I can speak fluent English just because of that.

“Jesus Christ came to earth”, she continued, “and did serve His mission to follow His father’s will.  I too follow my Heavenly Father’s will also by serving a mission for Him. It is the best thing I can do to show that I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”

Sister Kesa said that she wants to serve a mission to, “Bring souls unto Christ, share the gospel and testify of The Book of Mormon.  I love what I am about to do in Fiji,” she said. “I’m grateful to be a missionary.”

Sister Kesa comes from a family of seven and says she will miss them all very much but is excited for this new experience.  “I know that through the gospel of Jesus Christ, I can be happy through this life and forever”.

Missionary work is voluntary.  Generally, missionaries fund their own missions -- except for their transportation to and from their field of labour. Missionaries in some third world countries receive a large amount of financial support from general Church funds where local economic conditions would not provide a family with sufficient income to support their son or daughter in a more advanced economy.

Contacts with family and friends during this time of service are limited to letters and occasional phone calls to family at special times.  They avoid entertainment, parties or other activities common to this age-group as long as they are on their missions, so they can focus entirely on the work of serving and of teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Watch a short video about Mormon missionaries.




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