Monday, July 28, 2014

Some LDS missionaries coming home from Ukraine; missionaries in Venezuela are safe

By Tad Walch, Deseret News

Published: Thu, March 6 10:45 p.m. MST

 Russian soldiers guard a pier where two Ukrainian naval ships are moored, in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday that embattled Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers. Since last weekend, Russian troops have taken control of much of the peninsula in the Black Sea, where Russian speakers are in the majority. Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday that embattled Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers.

Russian soldiers guard a pier where two Ukrainian naval ships are moored, in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday that embattled Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers. Since last weekend, Russian troops have taken control of much of the peninsula in the Black Sea, where Russian speakers are in the majority. Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday that embattled Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers.

(Andrew Lubimov, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church is sending some missionaries home early from Ukraine because of unrest in the Crimean Peninsula.

"Given the evolving situation in Ukraine, 22 missionaries serving in that country will end their missions early and return home over the next few days," said a statement released on LDS.org late Thursday.

The missionaries involved were due to end their missions in March or April.

On Saturday, the church announced it had removed 23 missionaries in the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission from the Crimean Peninsula. Those missionaries are being spread among the four missions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the country.

Also, "missionaries who have been in missionary training centers preparing to enter Ukraine are being temporarily reassigned to other missions or will remain at the MTCs on a short-term basis," the new statement says

The church has more than 11,000 members in Ukraine.

Thursday night's release included a short statement about missionaries serving in Venezuela:

"All missionaries serving in Venezuela are safe. Church leaders are in regular contact with mission presidents serving throughout Venezuela, and are closely monitoring the situation to ensure their safety and well-being."

The church has four missions and nearly 158,000 members in Venezuela.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

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1. gogogoff
Orem, UT,
March 7, 2014

Dang, (having got back 8 weeks ago), if I were one of them, I would want to see if I could stay it out. Every minute is worth it.

2. suzyk#1
Mount Pleasant, UT,
March 7, 2014

To: gogogoff - I bet you loved your mission just by your comment. Good for you..I bet you did a lot of good there.

3. Arroba
Brigham City, UT,
March 7, 2014

Can anyone tell me if there are U.S. missionaries in Venezuela again, or are they all still Venezuelans? The U.S. elders were taken out several years ago.

4. sukiyhtaky
us, CA,
March 7, 2014

Two thumbs up to SL for being proactive in the welfare of the LDS missionaries in the Ukraine. Hopefully these young people will realize it was the wise thing to do given the situation that is brewing and perhaps they could be allowed to finish their last few weeks and months locally somehow.

[PS...OK youse guys you have me worried that the regular comment henchman is sick or injured---given none of my snarky comments have been rejected lately. If so, I hope it is not serious and she/he/it returns soon so I again have something to gripe about to my LDS friends. :)]

5. ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington,
March 7, 2014

I think we are of a mind set that a honorable mission is exactly 730 days. In the early days, some missions were several years, others several months - depending on what the Lord needed at that time and in that location. These elders and sisters have served well and in challenging times and locations. I certainly hope none of those 'coming home early' will think that they were somehow lacking.

We are ever so grateful for modern prophets who are mindful of the world in which we now live and can make inspired decisions accordingly. I trust that everyone is also lending their heartfelt prayers to the 11,000 members in that part of the world and other parts of the world where such turmoil exists.