News Release

Senior Missionaries Serving Missionaries

Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world, both young and old, seek to find people to teach, serve and bless. As a part of their service, senior missionaries often serve other younger missionaries in many wonderful ways, such as feeding them, assisting them in learning a language, and training them to be better missionaries.

President Peter Vidmar of the Australia Melbourne Mission recognized some important, special needs of some of the young international missionaries who were entering his mission. He observed that a number of the young missionaries were from third-world countries. President Vidmar saw that these young elders and sisters became wonderful missionaries. However, he felt they needed some further preparation and training in order to give them the best chance of having successful post-mission lives. He wanted them to be able to further their education, and to prepare for successful employment opportunities following their missions.

To meet this need, President Vidmar called two senior sister missionaries, Sister Deborah Cooper and Sister Sandy King, specifically to work with these young missionaries. The two sisters’ responsibility has been to meet with each of the young missionaries beginning in the last year of their mission. The sisters next assess each young missionaries’ needs, desires and goals for their lives after they complete their mission and return home. The sisters then work with the missionaries individually to help them to prepare and achieve those post-mission goals.

The efforts of Sister Cooper and Sister King have been much appreciated by President Vidmar as well as by the young missionaries they serve. President Vidmar expressed, “Sister Cooper and Sister King have been instrumental in assisting many missionaries with their future plans.  Whether they are assisting with university applications, English proficiency tests, trade school or employment, they have spent countless hours to bless the lives of these grateful elders and sisters.”

Elder Siofa from The Solomon Islands spoke very little English before his mission. He shared his feelings, “…I thank God for those He prepared for us.... I am so greatful for your time and efforts that you have been help so many missionaries to help them by the knowledge and skills that Heavenly Father has given you. For me I would say to you, thank you for all of your work and your supports that you have done for me…you such a wonderful mother to me….I learned so many things from you especially for helping me with my english, I really appreciate that, I will always remember you everywhere I go…I love all of the officers, in this mission, and also I love President and Sister Vidmar, God will bless all of them with their love and careness for me and all of the missionaries.” Elder Siofa wants to return to his home country after his mission, go to the university and teach elementary school children.

These two senior sisters have found a great deal of personal satisfaction and fulfillment in serving the young missionaries. Sister Cooper shared, “It is a privilege and a joy to serve these young missionaries by helping them use the principles of self-reliance to plan their futures. As they become educated and develop language and other skills, they prepare themselves to become leaders and contributors to the growth and enrichment in their respective countries throughout the world. We love them and follow their progress after they return home.”

What a wonderful type of mission for prospective senior missionaries to consider! Elder Robert Dudfield, Pacific Area Seventy observed, “When retirement arrives, many either sit back and take a well-deserved rest or embark on traveling around the country or the world. Senior missionary service provides an opportunity to serve others at the expense of their own leisure. They provide such a wonderful contribution and we are grateful for their consecrated service.”

More senior missionaries are needed all over Australia and the Pacific to serve young missionaries in this way. These senior missionaries will literally bless individuals, nations and the Church throughout the world as they serve young missionaries prior to those missionaries returning home to their respective countries.

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