There are over 10,000 LDS Senior Missionaries serving in hundreds of countries across the world including 14 in Kenya and Tanzania.
LDS senior missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bless lives across the world. They are often retired couples who apply to the Church to serve a full-time mission and after receiving their assignments, they are sent to countries where governments allow the Church to operate. They use their own means while in these countries to support themselves and may serve for a period of six months to three years. Fourteen of these couples administer Church programs such as LDS Charities, Perpetual Education Fund and Employment Resources and provide ecclesiastical support throughout Kenya and Tanzania. There are over 10,000 such couples serving in hundreds of countries across the world.
Elder and Sister Mathers, who serve as Member and Leadership Support Missionaries in Arusha and Mwanza, Tanzania, and recently helped bring piped water to Kitembeni village, have remarked that, “missionary work here in Africa and specifically in the Arusha area of Tanzania is a wonderful adventure. We are trying to do as Christ did…help the needy, the poor in spirit and all who are yearning to move forward in life. We just love communicating with the people and getting involved in their lives.”
Apart from their Church assignment, the Mather’s are heavily involved in the Arusha community, which is something that all LDS Senior Missionaries of the Church do, following the admonition of Jesus Christ to love those you serve. They are currently working to develop a tricycle type wheelchair that can be operated by a handicapped person with limited upper body strength. Elder Mathers is designing the “tricycle” for a local friend, Kedmond, who is approximately forty years old and has been on his hands and knees his whole life. Elder Mathers himself lost one leg 20 years ago while making a wooden gun for his grandson. The Mathers are also working on additional projects including five new bore holes for water and developing medicinal herbs to help fight malaria, typhoid and other infectious diseases, as well as helping a local member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints start a school based on Christian gospel concepts. When asked if they would serve another mission, they said, “In a heartbeat!”
Elder and Sister Murdock
Elder and Sister Murdock, senior missionaries serving in Dar es Salaam have a different assignment. They teach religion classes to young single adults; Sister Murdock teaches keyboard, and they administer the Perpetual Education Fund Program in Dar es Salaam. This program of the Church was established in Tanzania in 2012 to help young men and women get a good education and become self-reliant after serving a mission for the Church. In Tanzania, 24 participants have benefitted from the PEF program since it was introduced. The students are enrolled in over 10 universities and colleges studying programs ranging from accounting, human resources and law to electrician and masonry. The part of their mission that the Murdocks have enjoyed the most is teaching the young people and helping them to become self-reliant.
These missionaries often have expansive experience in life. Elder and Sister Jensen who serve in Kenya and Tanzania as Public Affairs Missionaries, are seasoned administrators and communicators. Elder Jensen has worked in the media and the military for over 20 years, while Sister Jensen has been an office administrator for many years. They both have held responsible, time-consuming jobs in the Church, such as Bishop and Relief Society President. Together they help government and other leaders understand Church programs in the countries of Kenya and Tanzania.
Elder and Sister Anderson have served almost a year as Member and Leader Support missionaries in temple preparation classes and assist with the district choir. They also volunteer twice a week with the young missionaries at the Moi Teaching Hospital in the pediatric department. They play games with the children, read them stories and give each of them individual attention. Elder Anderson has taken on the task of small repair jobs in many of the buildings and missionary apartments throughout the area. He carries tools in his truck at all times so he is prepared to make repairs as he finds the need. Sister Anderson teaches keyboard to several students in the different branches of the Church in the area. Her goal is for several of them to become proficient enough to play for their congregation during Sunday meetings. They have made many good friends throughout the Eldoret area and are a blessing to the people of the district.
Elder and Sister Gotcher
Elder and Sister Gotcher serve in Chyulu, Kenya, as Leadership and Member Support missionaries and Elder Gotcher is the branch president of the Mtito Andeo Branch of the Church.
President and Sister Hicken
President Gary C. Hicken, who oversees the missionary program in both Kenya and Tanzania and is responsible for over 70 other young missionaries serving in the two countries, has observed that the Kenya Nairobi Mission which these two countries fall under, would cease to exist without the valuable contribution of Senior Missionaries.
Senior Missionary sisters who serve in Kenya Nairobi Mission
Elder and Sister Judd serve in Nairobi, Kenya, as an Office Couple for the mission and also as Self-Reliance missionaries.