LDS Senior Couples Answer Call to Serve

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“When we think of [Mormon] missionaries, we generally picture in our minds young men with shirts and ties and young women dressed modestly. But along with them are marvelous senior missionaries who have answered the pleadings of prophets and apostles for more missionary couples,” noted Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Church has sent out 317 senior couples from throughout the South Pacific in the last six years. Many of them have served or are serving in the Pacific region. These couples have inspiring stories of service to share.

                                                               

Take Tongan couple, Loueni and Nunia Huni, for example. They are preparing to serve their second mission.

According to Jan Hudson, a senior missionary at the LDS Dental Clinic in Tonga, “That’s not too unusual. Missions are highly regarded in Tonga, and many senior couples serve.”

When asked why they decided to serve another mission the Hunis humbly stated that they love the Lord and His work. And to serve, they have had to place their trust in their Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ.

The Hunis feel very grateful that their family has also experienced great blessings because of their mission service. They acknowledge their grandkids gaining education and themselves having a car and a home to be safe inside as some of these blessings. Their family has been healthy, had a table full of food and are happy. For these things they are very grateful.

Serving a mission as a senior couple is something that Loueni and Nunia would recommend to any LDS retired couple.

“If you want to stay close to the Lord, do His work and go on a mission."

The Hunis served a mission in Tonga in 2015-2017.

While serving, Loueni was acknowledged for his many years of sacrifice and service, providing fish—to the poor and needy—that he caught with his spear-gun each night while deep-sea swimming.

For the past 20 years Loueni has been going out alone beyond the reef to spearfish, among the sharks, on behalf of his neighbours. Read more of his amazing story here.

Loueni still swims and fishes beyond the reef and distributes his catch to the poor. He treats his own actions as a simple matter of fact, saying, “This is my life. This is what I do. I serve God, and He will take care of me.”

                                                                                     

Currently serving as a missionary couple, Tony and Mary Aiono, are fulfilling a deep desire to serve the Lord. Putting their trust in Him, they left their home and family in Apia, Samoa, and uprooted to Papua New Guinea for eighteen months.

For many years, the Aionos have been considering serving a mission with their Church. Many times Tony had shared with others that “someday I will go on a mission.”

They both felt inspired to serve after hearing Thomas S. Monson, past Church president, suggest: “To those of you who are not yet to the season of life when you might serve a couples mission, I urge you to prepare now for the day when you and your spouse might do so.”

“As your circumstances allow, as you are eligible for retirement, and as your health permits, make yourselves available to leave home and give full-time missionary service.”

As head of the family it was hard for Tony and Mary to prepare to leave familial commitments behind. Health was a concern but they worked to be physically and mentally strong in order to meet medical requirements.

Though their days are filled with hard work and sacrifice, many blessings have come their way. They are grateful that their family commitments have been taken care of in their absence.

They credit their daily scripture study with them “growing stronger in faith spiritually and temporally.”

Church service opportunities for their son-in-law and their first grandchild being accepted into university are additional blessings, they say, that have come into their lives.

The Aionos encourage other senior LDS couples who desire to be a disciple of the Lord to “prepare spiritually and physically. A strong faith and testimony of Jesus Christ and his Atonement will be a great instrument to help you as you serve.”

Feelings of satisfaction in the work they and other senior missionaries experience are reflected in this statement, also by President Thomas S. Monson: “There are few times in your lives when you will enjoy [so much] the sweet spirit and satisfaction that come from [serving] together in the work of the Master.”

Watch video here for more information regarding LDS senior missionaries.

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