News Release

Mormon Missionaries Put Education and Careers on Hold to Serve Kiwi Families

Joel Taua and Hogan Walker are two young men with a lot of energy. They normally work 80+ hours each week — helping in the community, visiting elderly folk, doing yard work, and talking with others about their faith.

They are two of the 88,000 or so Mormon missionaries worldwide who have put their education or careers on hold for 18 to 24 months to serve God and their fellow men and women — wherever they are asked to do so.  They do this at their own expense and without pay.

Last week Elder Taua and Elder Walker — as they are called as missionaries — helped a family take apart their deck ahead of some home improvements.  This took several hours in the hot sun.  And their reward?  Some cool drinks, lunch and a heartfelt “thank you” from the family.

Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spend several hours each week helping individuals, families and entire communities.  From visiting an elderly gentleman in a rest home, to home renovation or gardening to cleaning up a park — missionaries are always on the lookout for ways to help others. 

For the rest of their week they visit fellow Latter-day Saints and others who are interested in learning the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Taua, from Brisbane, Australia, says: “Offering free service is a great way to serve people. Not only do we bring joy when we serve others, but we also feel good within ourselves.”

“I have learned a lot during my mission so far here in Auckland. One main thing I have learned is to always keep a vision in mind. That comes down to setting goals. I have come to know that when you make goals, you learn to act in faith. All these good things I've learned ultimately come down to believing in and following Christ.

Elder Taua says he loves “this beautiful country." He has met "kind people in different cities from all over the world.”

Elder Hogan Walker is from Pleasant Grove, Utah, USA. He has been a missionary in New Zealand since August 2013. He is the youngest of five children and the first from his family to serve a full-time mission for the Church.

“I love my mission,” he says. “Since I was 14, the New Zealand Auckland Mission was always the mission I wanted to serve in. When I was called here, I was pretty shocked, but also at the same time I felt that I knew all along that this is where I would go. I didn't really know what to expect from New Zealand, but I love it more than I imagined I would. It truly is a blessing to serve in such a beautiful and giving country.”

Watch a short video about Latter-day Saint missionaries.


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