News Story

Young People Give Remarkable Missionary Service

Sister Setaita Ata has a gift for painting. She is sharing her gift with others through missionary service, which she is giving four days each week.

She prayerfully considers to whom she should give each book, then with their unique situation in mind, paints the cover of a hardback edition of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ to give to them.

Service missionary, Sister Setaita Ata's, illustrations on Book of Mormon covers© 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“I knew I had a talent with art,” she says, “but I hadn’t used it for a long time. I now realise that Heavenly Father wants me to use art to serve others.”

Sister Ata is a service missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her missionary service began in Brazil in 2019, but due to the need for protracted medical treatment to her knee she was reassigned to the Australia Melbourne Mission, where she served during the COVID lockdown last year.

Then in October 2020, she began experiencing frequent, debilitating migraine headaches and in a conversation with her mission president, Michael J. Houghton, she learned of an opportunity which would mean her medical needs could be managed as she continued to serve the Lord and others.

President Houghton explained that she could be immediately transferred to a service mission. After prayerful counsel with Elder and Sister Nicholl, who support service missionaries in Australia, her unique assignment was created.

Besides her painting, Sister Ata is a missionary leader and works in the office at the Melbourne Australia Temple weekly.

She is among several young people who are giving missionary service from their homes, in unique and inspiring ways.

Elder William Eiberg, service missionary in Auckland, New Zealand
Elder William Eiberg, service missionary in Auckland, New Zealand

Elder William Eiberg, from Auckland, New Zealand, has been organising thousands of image and video files by content keyword, location, and group to make them more accessible for Church media use.

He serves two days a week in the Pacific Area publishing services department and another two days each week in the meetinghouse facilities department.

Elder Eiberg is enjoying his service mission so much he has decided to serve for an additional 12 months.

Each service missionary is provided a customized mission experience uniquely tailored to his or her talents, skills, and gifts. During their missions, it is common for service missionaries to serve in multiple assignments, including approved charitable organizations, Church operations, and stake-assigned service opportunities.

Emmanuel Richards, president of the Melbourne Australia Wyndham Stake, said, “Sister Ata’s experience has paved the way for other young people in our stake who have doubted if they can serve the Lord as a missionary. We are very proud of her and we know that her example will provide great hope for others to do likewise.”

“We can build the Kingdom of the Lord in diverse ways and according to our strengths and talents,” said Elder Ian S. Ardern, Pacific Area President. “What matters most is serving the Lord through serving others. As we serve to our capacity, we will be stretched and blessed in the process.”

President Russell M. Nelson declared: “Through a lifetime of service in this Church, I have learned that it really doesn’t matter where one serves. What the Lord cares about is how one serves” (“Ministering with the Power and Authority of God,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 68).

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