News Release

New Areas Open for Senior Missionaries

Working With the Lord in His Vineyard

The Micronesia Guam Mission has been unique as mission calls are given during the pandemic. With many mission opportunities unavailable for visas and travel, creative problem solving by area directors have made it possible for mission leaders and senior missionaries to be closer to their assignment destinations with a temporary stay in Guam. In addition to missionary couples that have been specifically assigned to the Micronesia Guam Mission in the Asia North Area, Guam has welcomed couples called to serve in Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam.These couples include five senior missionary couples, two mission presidents, two area legal, as well as Elder Graham and Sister Sherri Doxey, the couple serving as the new executive secretary to the area president, allowing the work in the Lord’s vineyard to continue. Here these servants have served the last several months successfully working their mission assignments virtually as well as supporting the Guam mission.

The borders of Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries have now allowed visas for these transitioning missionary couples to finally move on to their original mission call areas. What a blessing these couples will be in the lives of the missionaries and members they can now serve and support in-person. There is a great need for these dedicated volunteers.

The Church News Podcast “The multigenerational blessings of senior missionary service” by Elder Weatherford T. Clayton, a doctor who is an assistant to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission health services, as well as Brother Arthur Johnson, Church missionary department manager discusses the need for senior missionaries to support members, missionaries, and help move the Lords work forward

Senior Latter-day Saints have contributed to the missionary effort of the Church since its early restoration. “There is such a huge need for senior missionaries” says Elder Clayton. He tells how these missionaries go out and bless the world serving in public affairs, bishops' storehouses, member leader services, and so many other opportunities. These senior couples have brought blessings and a strength to mission leaders, young missionaries, saints, and friends not of the Church while serving on their missions. It is also a relief for parents knowing senior missionaries are there with their young missionaries.

Brother Johnson expressed, “Missionary couples strengthen the example of just loving and caring for each other. It informs the young missionaries as they watch and gives them a sense of what their life could be like in the future.”

Although many seniors qualify for missionary work, the biggest challenge preventing these couples service is leaving grandchildren behind. Regarding this, Elder Clayton expressed “If you choose to serve the Lord, He will bless you and your family. As we give our all, He can unleash power and open the window of heaven to bring forth blessings that our family, children and grandchildren need.” He continues to tell how missions can use the expertise and decades of experience that senior couples have to offer. “The gifts you have the Lord can use; the doors are wide open. Senior missionaries can be as influential as mission presidents.” Be it legal experience, a temple mission, or a counselor, there are a myriad of opportunities if we think outside of the box. Some senior couples are preserving church historical and family history documents which will make a difference for generations to come.

Senior missionaries differ in schedule and living situations compared to the young missionaries. Senior missionaries can interact with their family daily if they choose to and they are encouraged to share their experiences and testimony with their family of how they are blessed. They have more flexibility and can return home if needed. Seniors have an opportunity to be in an area for six to twenty-three months which can be a tremendous bridge for newly baptized members as these senior missionary couples help them to stay rooted in a branch or ward. They are also able to relate to these new members' life challenges.

Brother Johnson asks, “Is now not the best time to serve? … Area and mission presidencies are asking and pleading for senior missionaries to bring their talents and capacity, their decades of expertise, out into the mission field to help support and bless these wonderful missions of the church.” Elder Clayton adds “Senior missionaries play an integral part. There has never been a better time to serve a mission than right now. We need you across the world.”

There are thousands of meaningful missionary opportunities on the Senior Missionary Opportunity Website. This website is user friendly and easy to navigate through the information that is appealing. A customized list will show the opportunities available for the next one to two years and the health history gives guidance for assignments in appropriate areas for maintaining good health.

Seniors are needed to help make the Church work. The Lord looks for experiences you have had and talents you possess. Brother Anderson explained that senior missionaries can be a “utility and have the opportunity to be a Swiss army knife. To be a multipurpose resource for their mission president is a most remarkable thing for missionary support couples.”

Brother Johnson sees the multigenerational influence or benefit of senior missionary service stating, “We believe that this multigenerational influence will echo throughout the eternities and create this lasting legacy of faith throughout multiple generations within the church.” These senior couples example inspire their children and grandchildren to contemplate missionary service. Children bond together in a unique way as they turn to supporting each other while their parents are away serving missions.

Through their talents, seniors can serve in ways they never knew were possible. Service is born of a desire to serve and share testimony of Jesus Christ. Prior to their mission, Brother Joseph Green came home from a general conference priesthood session in Arizona feeling his wife needed a project and felt inspired that it was time to serve a mission to fill that void for her. Elder and Sister Green now serve in the Micronesia Guam Mission with many fulfilling projects. “The love Jesus Christ has for us is manifest and demonstrated in the kind, thoughtful, and conscientious examples of senior missionaries throughout the world,” said Brother Johnson.

Elder Clayton closes with his testimony. “I testify of Jesus Christ and His plan for us all on the covenant path to enter the presence of God with never-ending happiness forever. There is a part we can play in helping the Lord with His work in His vineyard. We work with Him as He works in His vineyard … The work of the kingdom is accelerating. The kingdom is doing well. Despite what we hear in the news media, the kingdoms moving forward. Christ has already won, and our privilege is to work to help prepare the way for his return and senior missionary service is part of that.”

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