Sixteen New Mission Presidents Called to Serve in Philippines, Zambia, and Other Areas

Contributed By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer

  • 27 April 2016

Sixteen new mission presidents and their wives have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service in July.

Iowa Des Moines Mission

Briant T. and Cynthia Badger

Briant Taylor Badger, 65, and Cynthia Todd Badger, six children, Holladay 3rd Ward, Salt Lake Holladay Stake: Iowa Des Moines Mission, succeeding President John R. Jensen and Sister Marsha M. Jensen. Brother Badger is a former stake presidency counselor, high councilor, bishop, high priests group leader, elders quorum president, and missionary in the England East Mission. Self-employed dentist. Born in Salt Lake City to Briant Garr Badger and Wanda West Badger.

Sister Badger is a former Sunday School teacher, ward Primary president, ward Relief Society presidency counselor, and ward Young Women president. Born in San Francisco, California, to Burton McLain Todd and Phyllis Wallin Todd.

Chile Concepción Mission

Nelson and Liang-Fan Catala

Nelson Catala, 50, and Liang-Fan Wu Catala, seven children, Parque Chacabuco Ward, Buenos Aires Argentina Chacabuco Stake: Chile Concepción Mission, succeeding President Kent J. Arrington and Sister Michele Arrington. Brother Catala is a former stake president, stake presidency counselor, bishop, branch president, high councilor, institute teacher, and missionary in the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission. Self-employed business owner. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Nelson Cliver Catala and Margarita Norma Demarzo de Catala.

Sister Catala serves as a Sunday School teacher and is a former ward Relief Society president, ward Primary president, ward Relief Society presidency counselor, and missionary in the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, to Chang Yung Wu and Bao Guey Lin Wu.

Florida Orlando Mission

David K. and Denise Clark

David Knudsen Clark, 67, and Denise Jean Hintze Clark, six children, Cottonwood 8th Ward, Salt Lake Cottonwood Stake: Florida Orlando Mission, succeeding President Michael J. Berry and Sister Beth Ann Berry. Brother and Sister Clark serve as member and leader support missionaries in the New Zealand Wellington Mission. Brother Clark is a former bishop, high councilor, stake Young Men president, elders quorum president, and missionary in the Ireland Mission. Retired facilities technical services manager, Corporation of the Presiding Bishop. Born in Salt Lake City to Alan Benjamin Clark and Mary Virginia Knudsen Clark.

Sister Clark is a former stake and ward Relief Society presidency counselor and ward Relief Society and Primary president. Born in Salt Lake City to Bruce Boyes Hintze and Eva Jean Petersen Hintze.

Brazil João Pessoa Mission

Xavier and Teresa Dias

Francisco Xavier Da Rocha Dias, 56, and Teresa Maria Ferreira de Matos Dias, three children, Braga Ward, Porto Portugal North Stake: Brazil João Pessoa Mission, succeeding President Izaias P. Nogueira and Sister Diná Nogueira. Brother Dias is a former stake president, mission presidency counselor, bishop, branch president, and missionary in the Lisbon Portugal Mission. Coordinator, Seminaries and Institutes. Born in Bonfim, Portugal, to Antonio de Sousa Dias and Ricardina da Rocha.

Sister Dias is a former stake and ward Primary president, ward Young Women president, ward Relief Society presidency counselor, and Sunday School teacher. Born in Porto, Portugal, to David Tibério Soares de Matos and Maria Isabel Ferreira.

Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan West Mission

David and Michele Hamand

David Hamand Ehounou 42, and Stephanie Michele Katie Ehounou, three children, Toit Rouge 1st Ward, Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire Toit Rouge Stake: Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan West Mission, succeeding President Marcel Gueï and Sister Rosine Marthe Gueï. Brother Hamand serves as a bishop and is a former bishopric counselor, ward Young Men president, ward missionary, and missionary in the Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan Mission. Materials management supervisor, Corporation of the Presiding Bishop. Born in Mbatto, Cote d’Ivoire, to Aka Ehounou and Moutcho Marie Kouame.

Sister Hamand serves as a stake Relief Society presidency counselor and is a former ward Young Women president, ward Primary president, ward Relief Society presidency counselor, and ward missionary. Born in Oume, Cote d’Ivoire, to Katie Guegue and Oulai Beiko.

Perú Arequipa Mission

Douglas R. and Camille Neddo Johnson

Douglas Robert Johnson, 59, and Camille Neddo Johnson, three children, Cottonwood 5th Ward, Salt Lake Cottonwood Stake: Perú Arequipa Mission, succeeding President Richard Zobrist and Sister Angela Zobrist. Brother Johnson serves as a stake presidency counselor and is a former bishop, bishopric counselor, ward Young Men president, elders quorum president, and missionary in the California San Diego Mission. Owner, America Auto Group. Born in Salt Lake City to Pete Johnson and Phyllis Reid Penman Johnson.

Sister Johnson is a former ward Young Women president; ward Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary presidency counselor; and Gospel Doctrine teacher. Born in Pocatello, Idaho, to Hal Leroy Neddo and Dorothy Lorraine Wolz Neddo.

Zambia Lusaka Mission

Moana M. and Inoke F. Kupu

Inoke Fotu Kupu, 57, and Moana M. Fatani Kupu, four children, Liahona YSA Ward, Nuku’alofa Tonga Liahona Stake: Zambia Lusaka Mission, succeeding President Leif J. Erickson and Sister Linda N. Erickson. Brother Kupu is a former stake president, stake presidency counselor, bishop, high councilor, national director of public affairs, stake Young Men president, and missionary in the Bolivia La Paz Mission. Deputy chief executive officer, Ministry of Internal Affairs. Born in Ha’alaufuli, Tonga, to Vilai Kupu and Salote Fatai Naulu.

Sister Kupu serves as a Gospel Doctrine teacher and is a former stake Young Women president, ward Relief Society president, ward Relief Society presidency counselor, and seminary and institute teacher. Born in Matangiake, Tonga, to Tevita Lupeitu’u Fatani and Lolo ‘Olive Langi.

Washington Vancouver Mission

Susan and Dennis A. McAteer

Dennis Alexander McAteer, 64, and Susan Darlene Rankine McAteer, six children, Riverside Ward, Ottawa Ontario Stake: Washington Vancouver Mission, succeeding President Derlin Taylor and Sister Nancy Taylor. Brother and Sister McAteer recently served as a senior missionary couple in the Canada Halifax Mission. Brother McAteer is a former stake president, branch president, high councilor, and high priests group leader. Retired restaurant owner. Born in Prince Albert, Canada, to William Samuel McAteer and Anne Ellen Fisher McAteer.

Sister McAteer is a former stake Primary president and ward Relief Society and Young Women president. Born in Fredericton, Canada, to Vernon Arthur Rankine and Emma Victoria Charters Rankine.

Ecuador Quito North Mission

Blake P. and Dana M. Murphy

Blake Potter Murphy, 52, and Dana Myres Murphy, six children, Northwood Ward, Irvine California Stake: Ecuador Quito North Mission, succeeding President Brian A. Richardson and Sister Susan D. Richardson. Brother Murphy serves as a stake presidency counselor and is a former bishop, stake clerk, ward mission leader, ward Young Men adviser, and missionary in the California San Jose Mission. Retirement actuary, Aon Hewitt. Born in Salt Lake City to Sheldon Rowley Murphy and Norma LaWynn Potter Murphy.

Sister Murphy serves as a seminary teacher and is a former stake Relief Society president, ward Relief Society president, ward Primary presidency counselor, nursery leader, and missionary in the Texas Houston Mission. Born in National City, California, to Dennis Keith Myres and Paula Faye Haymond Myres.

Brazil Santos Mission

Carlos S. and Janete Obata

Carlos Shunji Obata, 60, and Janete Dos Anjos Obata, four children, Vila Industrial Ward, Campinas Brazil Stake: Brazil Santos Mission, succeeding President Celso B. Cabral and Sister Jane Lucia Cabral. Brother Obata is a former Area Seventy, area auditor assistant, mission presidency counselor, stake president, district president, bishop, and ward Sunday School president. Retired from Corporate University of Petrobras. Born in Campinas, Brazil, to Sadao Obata and Huzie Obata.

Sister Obata is a former stake Relief Society and Young Women president, district Young Women president, stake Relief Society presidency counselor, branch Relief Society president, and seminary teacher. Born in Salvador, Brazil, to Joel Moreira dos Anjos and Emidia Sampaio dos Anjos.

California Long Beach Mission

Julie L. and Brian P. Patterson

Brian Paul Patterson, 41, and Julie Larsen Patterson, four children, Kelvin Grove Ward, Springville Utah Dry Creek Stake: California Long Beach Mission, succeeding President Ryan M. Tew and Sister Melanie Tew. Brother Patterson is a former stake presidency counselor, bishop, high councilor, stake mission presidency counselor, and missionary in the Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission. Seminary principal, Seminaries and Institutes. Born in Roosevelt, Utah, to Clark Lynn Patterson and Paulette Hyer Patterson.

Sister Patterson is a former ward Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary president; ward Relief Society presidency counselor; Cub Scout committee chairman; and Relief Society teacher. Born in Payson, Utah, to Ferrus Hugh Larsen and Beth Beardall Larsen.

Nicaragua Managua North Mission

Jessica L. and Sergio A. Poncio

Sergio Armando Poncio Alvarez, 43, and Jessica Lissette Calderón de Poncio, two children, El Frutal 2nd Ward, Villa Nueva Guatemala El Frutal Stake: Nicaragua Managua North Mission, succeeding President Monsop Collado and Sister Tabata L. Collado. Brother Poncio is a former stake president, bishop, high councilor, and missionary in the Guatemala North Mission. Senior facilities manager, Corporation of the Presiding Bishop. Born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, to Ernesto Poncio Lacan and Lucia Alvarez Sajquim de Poncio.

Sister Poncio is a former stake Primary secretary, ward Relief Society and Young Women president, ward Relief Society presidency counselor, stake music director, and missionary in the Costa Rica San José Mission. Born in Guatemala to José Baldomero Calderón Torres and María Teresa Tanchez de Calderón.

Venezuela Valencia Mission

Mery Marisol and Ramon Sarmiento

Ramon Ernesto Sarmiento Arcila, 55, and Mery Marisol Freites de Sarmiento, La Morita Ward, Maracay Venezuela Stake: Venezuela Valencia Mission, succeeding President Guillermo I. Guardia and Sister Sobeida Guardia Petro. Brother Sarmiento is a former stake president, bishop, bishopric counselor, high councilor, ward mission leader, elders quorum secretary, and missionary in the Venezuela Maracaibo Mission. Retired military officer. Born in Valencia, Venezuela, to Ramon Sarmiento Castillo and Ligia Josefina Arcila de Sarmiento.

Sister Sarmiento serves as a stake indexing director and is a former stake Primary presidency counselor and ward Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary president. Born in La Victoria, Venezuela, to Bartolome Alfano and María Guadalupe Freites de Alfano.

Philippines Cavite Mission

Pamela N. and Aaron B. Speirs

Aaron Bevan Speirs, 60, and Pamela Nelson Speirs, five children, Highland Manor Ward, Bakersfield California Stake: Philippines Cavite Mission, succeeding President Douglas C. Tye and Sister Dana Tye. Brother Speirs serves as a Sunday School teacher and is a former stake presidency counselor, bishop, high councilor, ward mission leader, temple ordinance worker, and missionary in the Philippines Mission. Petroleum engineer, Aera Energy LLC. Born in Salt Lake City to Thomas L Speirs and Jeana Lita Jensen Speirs.

Sister Speirs serves as a Sunday School teacher and is a former stake Young Women president, ward Primary president, Primary music leader, seminary teacher, and temple ordinance worker. Born in Salt Lake City to Grant Wells Nelson and Maxine Wilcox Nelson.

Texas McAllen Mission

José S. and Vicky A. Torres

José Santos Torres Caballero, 37, and Vicky A. Godoy de Torres, four children, Miraflores Ward, Tegucigalpa Honduras Guaymuras Stake: Texas McAllen Mission, succeeding President Fernando Maluenda and Sister Priscilla Maluenda. Brother Torres serves as a bishop and is a former stake president, high councilor, bishopric counselor, elders quorum president, ward Young Men president, and missionary in the Guatemala Central Mission. Self-employed general manager. Born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to José Santos Torres and Raquel Caballero de Torres.

Sister Torres serves as a ward family history consultant and is a former ward Primary presidency counselor and stake Primary president. Born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to Angel María Godoy and María Victoria Castejon de Godoy.

Nevada Las Vegas West Mission

Martin N. and Laura J. Walker

Martin Neal Walker, 57, and Laura Jean Cornell Walker, four children, Butte Ward, Emmett Idaho Stake: Nevada Las Vegas West Mission, succeeding President Michael B. Ahlander and Sister Rebecca Ahlander. Brother Walker is a former stake president, stake presidency counselor, stake and ward Young Men president, temple ordinance worker, and missionary in the Virginia Roanoke Mission. Owner, Walker & Associates Inc. Born in Emmett, Idaho, to Henry Sylvester Walker and Frances Elizabeth Rynearson Walker.

Sister Walker is a former ward Young Women president; ward Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary presidency counselor; and temple ordinance worker. Born in Brigham City, Utah, to Donald Alfred Cornell and Carolyn Bodily Cornell.