Service Missions for Young Missionaries Integrate with Teaching Missions

By Sister Debra Pace

Service Missions. Supplied by Newsroom

Many young children look forward to the day they’ll be able to serve a mission. However, some young men and women must come to terms with disappointment when they find that a teaching mission is not possible due to their health. Others face the same challenges when they fall ill during their missions and are required to return home early.

Recent changes to the missionary program now make it possible for all worthy young men (18-25 years old) and young women (19-29) to serve a mission regardless of their physical, emotional or mental health.

Under the direction of The First Presidency, the Melbourne and Brisbane missions in Australia are part of a pilot program that integrates service missions for young people with teaching missions. This allows them to join around 180 other missionaries under the same mission president.

 In their daily work, service missionaries work with charitable organisations, church operations, and within the community.

President Paul Thomas of the Australia Melbourne Mission also implements the same key measures with his service missionaries as he does with the teaching missionaries:


  1. Regular interviews with the mission president
  2. Personal scripture study challenges, Zoom meetings for “Preach My Gospel,” and prayer meetings
  3. Accompanying the teaching missionaries as they teach the gospel
  4. Sharing meals with other missionaries in someone’s home.
  5. Joining in P-day activities with other elders and sisters in their district
  6. Attending Zone Conferences

“When service missionaries are included and know how to be involved in the mission, that is the most powerful message,” President Thomas says. “This approach can be a huge blessing to families who know that their prospective missionaries can serve in many of the same ways that teaching missionaries do.”

Elder Domonic McKendry
Elder Domonic McKendry, Melbourne. Supplied by Newsroom

Elder Domonic McKendry, 23-year-old Melbourne missionary, has loved these experiences.  He is excited about these changes and is grateful to be included. It has given him a greater sense of purpose. “I have learnt there are always new skills to learn and new outcomes to come.”

Some of his daily service includes weeding, planting, and beautifying the grounds at the Melbourne Australia Temple. Elder McKendry also works at a local charity, serving meals to individuals going through hard times, including some experiencing homelessness.

“It’s a very good mission to learn a lot about yourself and know your true potential.”

Elder Brodie Smythe, Melbourne. Supplied by Newsroom

Elder Brodie Smythe, also a missionary in the Australia Melbourne Mission, says, “In working with FamilySearch, I take appointments to troubleshoot with members, and help people get family names ready to take to the temple.”

Sister Jessica Morgante, Brisbane. Supplied by Newsroom

From the Australia Brisbane Mission, Sister Jessica Morgante says, “I’ve been blessed to have …assignments in this area, including being our Service Mission Area Secretary, volunteer at Vinnies OP Shop, and providing ESL support.

“These assignments have helped me to grow temporally and spiritually and have strengthened my testimony of the love of our Heavenly Father. They have taught me to better understand and rely on Christ’s atonement in all aspects of my life.”

Elder Trent Yeow with a new friend
Elder Trent Yeow with a new friend. Supplied by Newsroom

Service missionaries from Adelaide and Sydney also make a difference.

Elder Trent Yeow is following in his grandma’s footsteps. Christina Yeow was a constant example of service and tirelessly served everyone, raising money for the homeless, cancer research and many other charities. Elder Yeow speaks fondly of her. “I just want to serve and make grandma proud.”

One way he serves is by developing friendships with the residents of Regis Nursing Home, playing chess, conversing with them and just being a listening friend. All he wants to do is to serve people as the Saviour did. 

Elder Enos Fenunuti, Sydney. Supplied by Newsroom
Elder Enos Fenunuti, Sydney. Supplied by Newsroom

Elder Enos Fenunuti especially loves working with and associating with missionaries in the Sydney Mission. One way he serves is by helping teaching missionaries wash cars and move apartments.

Elder Andrew Lam, Sydney
Elder Andrew Lam, Sydney. Supplied by Newsroom

Elder Andrew Lam, also of Sydney, helps with the Facebook page for Welfare and Self-Reliance. He plays the piano in aged care homes two afternoons each week. “The second week, I played the song ‘Clair de Lune’. One patient felt moved because it had given her the most wonderful memories. The Lord wants us to continue developing new skills and talents. Jesus Christ helps me to be kind to others… and brings me joy.”

Sister Jaidyn Reid, Sydney
Sister Jaidyn Reid, Sydney. Supplied by Newsroom

Sister Jaidyn Reid is involved in several charitable and community service assignments in Sydney.

She quotes President Russell M Nelson: “‘When your greatest desire is to let God prevail [in your life] … You know…where to spend your time…You know what you want to accomplish.  You know the kind of person you …want to become.’”[i]


[i] 'Let God Prevail,' President Russell M. Nelson, General Conference, Oct. 2020.