News Release

American Idol Finalist to Mormon Missionaries:  ‘Small and Simple Things Matter’

“For me, music is a way I can share my belief in Jesus Christ,” said David Archuleta—an American Idol finalist, recording artist and former missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—speaking last week to missionaries in Auckland.

During a special devotional meeting on Wednesday, 12 August at the Redoubt Road Latter-day Saint meetinghouse in South Auckland, Mr Archuleta used his gift of music and the spoken word to share his faith in Jesus Christ and his belief that “through the small and simple things we do each day, great things can happen.”

Mr Archuleta gave examples from his own Latter-day Saint mission in Chile, South America, where doing the small and simple things—like approaching people he didn’t know, and inviting them to church services—felt awkward and was hard to do. 

His advice to the missionaries was, “Even when it gets hard, even when you’re feeling down, even when it’s hard to make those decisions to keep going, please just pray, get on your knees and pray and just do it anyway. Those small and simple things bring about the work of the Lord.”

“You’ve been asked to be obedient,” he said. “You have been called to serve. You’ve been asked to be loving, to have charity, to be humble — and sometimes it’s hard to do that.” 

Mr Archuleta was accompanied by Dr Brad Wilcox, an author and professor of education at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA. Dr Wilcox brought to life, through audience participation and his gift of using humour while teaching, a well-known story from the Bible. 

Over the last two weeks Dr Wilcox and Mr Archuleta, along with other Latter-day Saint actors, singers and authors, spoke and performed for members and guests of the Church in several cities in Australia and New Zealand. Their fellow presenters included Mrs Sandra Turley, Mrs Heidi Swinton and Mrs Elaine Dalton

Closing remarks at last week’s devotional were given by Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, a member of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Nielsen counselled the missionaries to acknowledge their own talents.

“Don’t ever think you don’t have talent,” he said. “You do, and the Lord has asked you not to bury it.  His invitation is to build on what He gives you. Today you have seen talent in action.”

Elder Nielsen was accompanied by his wife, Sister Wendy Nielsen. Also attending the devotional were Elder O. Vincent Haleck, also of the Pacific Area Presidency, and his wife, Sister Peggy Haleck.

The missionaries were from the New Zealand Hamilton Mission and were led by President Charles A. Rudd and Sister Annette Lancaster Rudd.

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