News Story

Adelaide Mission Leaders Invite All to Feel and Share Joy

Many people recognise the pairs of young men in white shirts and ties, and young women in conservative dress, each wearing name tags and carrying leaflets, as missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What most people don’t know is that these young people are guided and directed as they represent Jesus Christ, by a mature mission leader couple.

Mission Leadership Council, Left: President Adolf and SisterMartha Johansson2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

In Adelaide, that volunteer couple is Adolf and Martha Johansson.

The Johanssons arrived in Adelaide, with their family, in July 2021, from Suva, Fiji.  There Adolf had served, since 2014, as the Church’s Service Centre Manager for Fiji, overseeing the Church’s construction, humanitarian, and other temporal affairs programs in that country. He was also an Area Seventy (regional leader) for the Church in Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu.

Mission leaders, President Adolf and Sister Martha Johansson, with missionaries at a zone conference, Australia Adelaide Mission 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

As leaders in the Australia Adelaide Mission, the Johanssons help around 50 young missionaries and four senior couples as they serve the people of South Australia and the Northern Territory and parts of Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.

When asked what they do as mission leaders, President Johansson said, “As a couple, we interact with missionaries through interviews, and teaching lessons. We also meet with groups of missionaries in 'districts'and 'zones' in councils and conferences. In Mission Leadership Councils we teach and share ideas with the young men and women leaders of missionaries.”

“Our approach to missionary service and leadership is to love and serve all people, by sharing the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with them,” said Sister Johansson.

“We travel all over our large geographical area, visiting missionaries, and finding people to teach,” President Johansson said. “We work together with members of the Church in congregations for Sunday meetings and activities and evening discussions.”

Due to Covid travel restrictions the number of missionaries in each zone has reduced.

"We have many remote areas we want to support,” President Johansson explains, “but due to the limited number of missionaries, we are trying to spread out as best as we can to cover the needs.”

There are eight missionaries in the zone in Northern Territory, 13 missionaries in Marion, 14 in Firle, and 11 in Modbury.

The Johanssons’ goal is for missionaries and members to feel and share the joy of living the gospel. They believe that “we must be happy in order to preach happiness.”

“Our mission motto is “Let God Prevail, Let the Holy Spirit Guide," President Johansson says.

He believes that as the missionaries let God guide their labours, they will experience joy.

Both President and Sister Johansson served as missionaries for the Church before they were married, so they bring insights and experience to their roles.

Additionally, they embrace the new teaching opportunities that social media provides missionaries.

“We are blessed and excited to be called to serve in the Australia Adelaide Mission,” said President Johansson. “Especially to serve alongside the wonderful youth of Zion in these latter days. We look forward to working together with the local members and leaders and with the wider community.”

The Johanssons are the parents of four children, who have accompanied them to Adelaide.  Three are young adult, and the youngest is in year nine of high school. 

Sister Johansson’s 89-year-old mother also accompanied the family to Australia, having lived with the Johanssons for the entire 28 years of their marriage.

The musically-talented family has contributed to many worship services and special events for the Church. In 2016, at age 15, a daughter, Martha, as “back-up pianist," played for all of the dedicatory sessions of the Suva Fiji Temple rededication.

“We do not take this opportunity [to be in Adelaide] for granted,” said Martha.

Sister Johansson added, “We look forward to building relationships in the community, based on kindness and respect for all.”

Mission leaders serve for three years.

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