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Church a home for missionaries, no matter where they are

Ofeira Lealii E'e, Carly Shaelling, Camilla Russel and Eiei Kyaw are completing a mission with Bruce and Janet Fenton in the Gladstone region with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Ofeira Lealii E'e, Carly Shaelling, Camilla Russel and Eiei Kyaw are completing a mission with Bruce and Janet Fenton in the Gladstone region with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Brenda Strong

THEY are hundreds of thousands of miles away from their families, but that has not stopped these people from staying optimistic and working towards making a change to the Gladstone community.

The latest group of missionaries to hit Gladstone from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is passionate about sharing their gospel of the beliefs and principles of their church, and helping people in any way possible.

"Our main purpose is to invite as many people as we can to come to the church and learn more," 27-year-old Camilla said.

Bruce Fenton is the only missionary to have completed a trip previously, when he was 19-years-old.

Each of their missions are around 18-months long, a big commitment to be made to another country.

Bruce and wife Janet have five children and now three grandchildren, and two weeks ago their daughter held her wedding, a momentous occasion they had to experience in a different way.

"We were in the front row, by Skype though," they laughed.

Contact is maintained through email, Skype and letters, but they said being part of the church made them feel more at home, especially with their 'missionary family'.

"There are times that are hard, but to me I just think this is so wonderful … just the spirit of sharing the gospel is amazing," Janet said.

"No matter where I have gone in the world, I walk into church and it feels like I'm with my family," Camilla said.

"The cultures may be different but you are still living by the same principles and the same standards of life, so we always feel accepted."

Church also was a home environment for Carly, who moved towns at lot while growing up.

"Home is a very precious feeling and it's unfortunate some don't get to feel it. But whenever I step foot into a church I feel like I'm home," she said.

Before their missions they were working and saving money to afford this big adventure.

Janet and Bruce made a big commitment by selling their own aged care business.

Around the world there are more than 80,000 missionaries sharing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints gospel in 405 different locations.

If you would like to contact the sisters for more information, phone 0404 275 049.

The church also provides genealogy services. For more information phone 0405 114 359.

Topics:  church, gladstone, missionary, mormon, religion




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