News Story

From Cleaning Up After a Cyclone to Serving Lunch to a Prime Minister 

Mormon Missionaries Help in Many Ways

Earlier this year, missionaries in Tonga assisted residents of the Ha’apai Islands group recover from the devastating impact of Cyclone Ian. Missionaries provided similar service after Cyclone Evan pounded Samoa in December 2012. 

But it’s not just after natural disasters that you’ll often find Mormon missionaries among the first to arrive to lend a hand. Over 85,000 Mormon missionaries around the world look for ways to help individuals, families and communities every day, in many different ways.

Last week, missionaries serving in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay ― Elder Lavenda Brown from Samoa and Elder Jacob Nyfeler from the USA ― had a chance to serve others in a unique way.


According to Hawke’s Bay Today, after Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana met with Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi and his delegation, Mr Tomoana opened his home for a hangi lunch. 

Local Latter-day Saint, Ruth Wong, Communications Advisor for Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, was pleased to support the event by inviting members of the Latter-day Saints’ Hastings New Zealand Flaxmere Stake to share in the opportunity to meet and have lunch with the Samoan Prime Minister and other dignitaries.

When Elders Brown and Nyfeler were approached, they embraced the opportunity to assist.

“We’re here to help in any way we can,” Elder Nyfeler said. “And it’s a great privilege to be able to associate with all kinds of people while doing so.  We jump at any opportunity to serve.  It shows that we are striving to practice what we preach.”

“We’ve found that most people will not ask for help so we are always watching and listening for service opportunities.  We’ve been blessed to have been able to do all kinds of service such as pulling a dead goat out of a ravine, herding sheep, chopping wood, helping to repair a roof and a whole lot of gardening.”

A large portion of a missionary’s time involves service to those who need a lending hand.  They strive to follow the example of service shown by Jesus Christ during his ministry. 

Missionaries also teach individuals and families the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is voluntary and based on the New Testament pattern of missionaries serving in pairs. Missionaries and their families fund their missions, and they are not paid for their services.

Currently there are 17 missions in the Pacific Area.  Most missions comprise approximately 200 to 250 missionaries, including senior couples,




Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.