LDS missionaries return to RMI

The post-Covid group of the Church of Latter-day Saints’ missionaries arrived in Majuro recently, the first in three years.

WILMER JOEL

Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) from around the world are being dispatched to our islands after a three-year absence.

This is big news for LDS members across the country and local missionaries who were in need of more manpower. On April 2020 around 50 LDS missionaries left the Marshalls and Kiribati on a specially chartered Fiji Airways aircraft — a response to the coronavirus pandemic at that time.

The first batch of five missionaries consisting of four elders and one sister arrived earlier this month on a United Airlines flight. These missionaries served in other mission fields in other parts of the globe before coming to the islands where they will complete the remaining duration of missionary service. Elders are required to serve a two-year mission while sisters serve for 18 months.

The Marshall Islands and Kiribati are joint missions under the supervision of a new Mission President John Kendall and his wife Megan who arrived four months ago from New Zealand replacing their predecessors Elder Boyd and Sister Laurie Foster.

In a meeting with Majuro Stake Leaders last January, President Kendall said it is a big leap of faith and it is time to pull the plug. He added that by the end of March, there should be 22 missionaries on the island for each of the seven-eight wards on Majuro.

However, President Kendall said that there won’t be any couple missionaries in the near future. According to the international website of the church, couple missionaries “serve as a couple and live away from home. They generally serve for 12, 18, or 23 months, with some six-month mission calls.”

One of the five new missionaries Elder Becker from Texas, who originally served in Hawaii, spoke with the Journal and described his first impression as being amazed to see his left and right to be surrounded with the ocean. He will serve in the DUD areas with his companion Elder Hirata a local missionary, while their fellow counterparts will serve in other parts of Majuro. Their Mission Office is in Long Island between K&K Island Pride Supermarket and the Lojkar apartments.

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