News Release

New Caledonia Has First Local Missionaries Since Beginning of Pandemic

Two young men from Noumea will serve in their home country

In June of 2020, New Caledonia said goodbye to its last missionaries. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many foreigners left the country, including all the missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Since then, the 2,500 Church members in New Caledonia have been doing well but interest has remained high among young people who are anxious to give missionary service. However, current restrictions do not allow any international flights into or out of the country.

On 20 June 2021, two young men from the Noumea Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Caledonia were ordained to be missionaries in their own country. Stewart Parau and Théotime Smatti are each going to serve their two-year missions in New Caledonia.

They are both following in their parents’ footsteps. Wilfrid Parau, Elder Parau’s father, served a mission in Canada from 1996 to 1998. Elder Parau's mother, Angela, also served a mission in Belgium. His younger brother, Jayson, is planning his mission for next year.

Elder Parau is a second generation New Caledonian.

Elder Smatti’s father, Jean Olivier, is originally from France. He served a mission in New Caledonia from 1998 to 2000. He and his family have been in New Caledonia for the past three years and they are planning to return to France in 2022, leaving Elder Smatti to finish his mission in 2023.

“I am happy to know that my son will walk in the same streets [as I did], and maybe talk to some of the same people, about Jesus Christ,” said Mr Smatti. “I hope that many will accept his important message.”

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