Called to Serve
Elder Abakai Taurabakai has a testimony of the restored gospel. He’s been active in church, and he’s been faithful as a new elder. Elder Taurabakai is from Kiribati—a chain of 32 atolls and one island spread over 1.3 million square miles in the South Pacific. Nearly 12 percent of Kiribati’s 98,000 inhabitants are LDS. And many work hard to provide a humble existence for their families.
Elder Taurabakai was called to serve in the Philippines. Tagalog is only taught by English at the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center. Since English is Elder Taurabakai’s second language, it was not easy. He joined the Church just seven years ago and is the first missionary to serve from his family. “Missionary work is something I must do,” said Elder Taurabakai. “I have a strong testimony and love the gospel.”
The General Missionary Fund will pay for the majority of Elder Taurabakai’s mission. Since the Fund was created, tens of thousands of missionaries have been blessed with assistance. Many of these missionaries come from homes where the total family income is less than $1,000 annually. Serving missions, therefore, puts a severe strain on family finances. Along with family support, the Church expects their local units to provide through donations what they can. If family and local support donations are not sufficient, the General Missionary Fund provides for the remaining expenses associated with missionary service.
Worthy young men and women and couple missionaries can qualify for assistance from the General Missionary Fund if they can provide their own scriptures and missionary clothing, have resolved any medical and dental needs, and have met the required minimal financial commitment set by their area presidency.
Thousands of young men and women from impoverished nations must rely on the General Missionary Fund to provide financial assistance for the rest of their mission after all they can do. Member contributions make this possible. Elder Taurabakai is learning on his mission how to teach and how to lead. Upon his return to his homeland, he will have the skills needed to be a leader in the Church and in the community.
In the opening session of the 181st Annual General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson suggested that those who are able “might consider making a contribution to the General Missionary Fund of the Church.” “Missionary work,” he said, “is the lifeblood of the kingdom.” Visit ldsp.org/ missionary to read how the General Missionary Fund is blessing thousands of young missionaries around the world.
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