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Australian Couple Helps Latter-day Saint Missionaries Begin Their Service 

Australian couple, John and Kathryn Gibson, have spent the last two years helping young missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin their service.


The parents of seven with a wealth of career and leadership experience spoke to Pacific Mormon Newsroom recently, as they prepare to go home to Australia after concluding their missionary service in New Zealand.

Q 1. What have you both been doing these past two years?

We have been assisting missionaries as they begin their missions—to begin the change from their regular life to missionary life, and become true representatives of Jesus Christ and His Church. Our role is mainly pastoral care of the missionaries. Qualified returned missionaries teach them the skills of teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By assisting them in this way, they are also being prepared for their future.

Q 2. What are some of the highlights of your service?

Witnessing the change in these young people—from excited to serve but somewhat nervous, to looking forward with confidence to go out and serve and teach. They realize that they still have much more to learn, but they feel the strength that comes from Jesus Christ as they go out to do His work.

Q 3. What are the biggest challenges you have faced?

Learning each missionary’s name! Each one, individually, is important to, and loved by the Saviour. We feel that we need to do the same.

By making each day the most important day.

Q 4. How did you respond to these challenges?

Practice and prayer.

Being focused on our purpose—which is to assist the missionaries understand their purpose and become the missionaries they need to be to represent the Saviour and His Church.

Q 5. What have you noticed about the young people as they come to the Missionary Training Centre?

They come on their first day excited, tired from travel, a bit scared and nervous, enthusiastic, unsure of their abilities, but eager to learn. They go out still a little nervous as they leave the safety of the MTC, but confident that in the strength of the Lord they can do what they have been asked to do, and have promised that they will do. Their testimony has deepened, and they can recognize, and respond to, the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

We have come to recognize their great faith, power, unselfishness, maturity and willingness to leave their own comfort to serve others, that these great young people have.  It is humbling to learn how they have worked and sacrificed to be in the mission field, but they want to be there. They know the joy and happiness that come to individuals and families through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they want to share it.     

We have seen miracles happen in their lives, as well as in our own. I know that this mission experience can change their life—now and for their future.  It has changed ours. It is the Lord’s work.

Read more about President and Sister Gibson at

Watch a video about Latter-day Saint missionaries:


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