There are currently 50,000 young missionaries and 5000 adult missionaries serving throughout the world. Wow. Back in our ward in Ludlow MA. and our service in the Boston Temple, we have had the privilege of getting to know missionaries who have come from all over the world to serve. Yes, they knock on doors and share the gospel message whenever they have the chance to do so., perform acts of service and community service and other myriad responsibilities. I admire all of the missionaries for their hard work and dedication and for the different responsibilities they have.
In Russia, because the Church is so young and there isn't always a strong priesthod base yet, our missionaries are sometimes called to serve in leadership roles in the little branches. (30 - 120 members).That is a huge responsibility! One young elder was just called to serve as the Branch President in Smolensk to help strengthen the young branch there. These young missionaries called to serve in Russia are often called upon to carry additional responsibilities at times on their young shoulders.
In the Russia Moscow Mission, our mission president's goal is to have a senior couple in each branch or ward to help teach leadership and help these little branches get on their feet. The senior couples have years of experience to share, having served in various Church responsibilities throughout their life. They are a blessing to the members and missionaries alike.
Currently, there are not enough senior couples to cover all the wards and branches in our vast mission. One couple, Elder and Sister L. take a train to Tver each weekend to serve in the ward there and travel back to serve in the mission office during the week. We are talking about several hours on a hard seat to and from, so that they can fulfill their responsibility to the people of this area. They are incredible people.
Recently, a dear couple who were serving in Moscow Elder and Sister C., were transferred to Veronezh, 900 miles away, to serve. WOW. We will only get to see them a couple of times a year. They will help build up the church in that area along with a set or two of young missionaries.
I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again. Elder Sutton and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to serve in Moscow at this time and rub shoulders with some of the most dedicated and wonderful missionaries ever! Both of us are working hard trying to learn the additional responsibilities that are now ours due to the expanded mission.
Not only do we cover Moscow, but the areas around it. Twe are almost the size of the United States. Wow. We're having trouble getting our heads around that! We ask for your prayers to be with us and the missionaries of this wonderful mission and the other Eastern European missions as we try to bring light to these wonderful people after so many years of dealing with aethism and communist rule.