News Release

Seniors Going Where the Action Is

When senior members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints want to have an adventure, discover new places, and make new friends, they don't book a cruise—they go on a mission.

A case in point is Elder Sid Going and his wife, Colleen, currently serving in Australia. Elder Going set the world of New Zealand athletics in commotion as a 19-year old, when he left a promising rugby career to serve a two-year mission to Canada. He came home, re-entered the New Zealand rugby arena, and became one of the greatest halfbacks ever to play for the highly celebrated All Blacks.

How do Elder and Sister Going consider their present senior mission—just the way he did as a young elder: "The blessing of bringing others into the gospel far outweighs anything we will ever sacrifice."

Asked by their leaders not to sink into retirement leisure, many couples heed the call, and head off on the mission experience. In every corner of the world they manage offices, help in public affairs, teach classes, support young single adults, and help with temple and family history work—to name a few of the options.

For many of the volunteers, careers in farming, law, finance, engineering, medicine, security, and just about every other area of expertise are converted into missionary assignments. Some couples are given entirely unfamiliar fields to plough. Either way, all come home with their luggage full of new skills and greater understanding.

Jeffrey Simmons, President of the Australia Sydney Mission, has eight senior couples serving in the city of Sydney alone. "They are invaluable to the work here," he says. "I could use two or three times that many."

Elder Blair Grover, from Idaho, USA, is a legal support missionary. His wife, Sister Jody Grover, spends part of her time coordinating senior missionary affairs and much of her time preparing meals for missionary meetings, conferences and training. She calls most of Sydney's young Elders and Sisters by name and says they make her assignment the "best in the mission."

Elder Daryl and Sister Sandy Wight, from Colorado, USA, manage the mission office in Sydney. This is their second mission, and they say, "Oh, sure—we'll go again."

The seniors are encouraged to keep up or even step up their physical well-being while serving. Elder Wayne Mangelson, from Utah, USA, was out jogging around a soccer field where a community game was in progress. On his third or fourth circuit, one of the players asked, "Can you go in for us, Mate?"

Hundreds of seniors around the world have "gone in" on the missionary playing field--where the action is. Phil and Margie Smith are now home in Charleston, NSW, after their mission in Sydney. "It wasn't the easiest way to retire," they say, "but it surely was the best."


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