We Hope They Call Us on a Mission

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For many Church couples, serving together as full-time missionaries is one of the highlights of their retirement years.

“There is a great need for missionary couples,” says Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Presidency of the Seventy, who serves as executive director of the Church’s Missionary Department. Couple missionaries have been specifically requested in some 3,000 places worldwide, but only about 1,800 couples are presently serving. To encourage members to make full-time missionary service part of their retirement plans, this article features experiences and insights from returned couple missionaries.

To couples who may be putting aside their decision to serve a full-time mission, Elder Tingey says: “There is always a family circumstance or other situation that pops up that will seem to be more important. The best thing is to just decide to go and let the Lord take care of the things that seem to get in the way. If you wait for the ideal time, it never comes, because age and health get in the way.”

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the Seventy urges couples to “go to your bishop; let him begin the process of a mission call. You can express your feelings where you would like to go, but be willing to go wherever you are called. The time will pass in an instant, but your mission will have eternal consequences for you and your posterity. Let us carry into the new century the greatest thrust of couple missionaries ever in the history of the world” (“‘Too Wonderful for Me,’” Ensign, Sept. 1998, 16).

Photo by Craig Dimond

Thousands of service opportunities are available to couple missionaries worldwide. From Church historical sites to humanitarian help to education programs, the needs are great and the rewards bountiful.

Like former district leaders Mary Lois and Jack Wheatley (center), who were called to prepare new leadership in Portugal, other missionaries are called to train employment service workers in Atlanta (left; photo by Craig Dimond) or to provide musical instruction in India (above; photo by Craig Dimond).

Go to your bishop; ask to serve. (Photo by John Philipson.)