News Story

Sydney Devotional Focuses on Ways Senior Missionaries Strengthen Congregations and Communities

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently gathered at Prairiewood, Sydney, to learn about opportunities to serve as senior missionaries and senior service missionaries.

This devotional follows the Church's announcement in May 2021 that eligible members anywhere in the world may be considered for a senior service mission. There is also a recognition that senior missionaries can contribute immensely to the local work of the Church and to the wider community.

Elder Simpson, Area Seventy, observed about the audience, "Many people here have served the Lord and know what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. When I look at the quality and calibre of the people sitting in this room, I think what a difference we can make."

He spoke about the revelation that was given to Joseph Smith in 1837 to send missionaries to England, which began the program of sending missionaries around the world.

Elder Simpson then said, "Perhaps this is the 'something new' of today. Perhaps [senior missions and senior service missions] is the new approach. Perhaps this is the way we can truly gather Israel. We can do so much more."

President Reid of the Australia Sydney Mission remarked that it was a joy to receive the call to serve in Australia, because "we were called to a sacred place."

Referring to the dedicatory prayer of the Sydney Australia Temple in 1984, he said that when senior missionaries fulfill their assignment, they are blessing the land and the citizens of Australia, and growing the Lord's work among the people.

President Reid expressed that senior missionaries are "irreplaceable" and the relationships they build with the people they serve are long-lasting.

Elder Blane Cox and Sister Judy Cox, who served senior missions in Sydney in 2018, echoed the sentiments of President Reid.

They said, "We enjoyed being assigned to attend the Mandarin speaking ward even though we only speak English. The members welcomed us because we were seniors. They said they had prayed for us to be there... We loved sharing histories, cooking, picnics, dinners. We still feel great love for the friends we met there."

Elder Mark Peteru and Sister Mary-May Peteru, senior service missionaries for BYU-Pathway Worldwide, explained that a person can be young and serve.

At 30 years old, Sister Peteru recounted, "When we were extended the call, I was hesitant at first. We were working full-time, had three children, and had callings in the Church...But we felt very strongly in our hearts that we need to serve the Lord...It has been a blessing to our family. It provided us an opportunity to re-prioritise our life."

Elder Peteru spoke about watching his father's dedication to service, and now his own son can see the same in him. He said, "There is no greater joy than to carry the name of Jesus Christ."

Elder Matthew Glen and Sister Rhonda Glen, the Senior Missionary Co-ordinators for Australia, answered questions from the audience. These included questions about length of service, costs, preparations, types of service, among others.

They emphasized that being a missionary is enjoyable. "There are some tough times. But it is fun too." Information about senior missionary opportunities in Australia can be obtained from Elder and Sister Glen at

Photos: Elder and Sister Cox and other senior missionaries; Elder and Sister Simpson with Elder and Sister Glen; Elder Mark Peteru and Sister Mary-May Peteru; Elder Simpson, President and Sister Reid, and Elder and Sister Glen meet to discuss senior service missionary opportunities in Sydney.

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