New missionary assignments are being made following April 30 deadline

Thursday, April 30, is the deadline for many of the Church’s full-time missionaries who have either had their calls and assignments adjusted, changed or delayed to have made decisions on when to resume or begin their service.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints noted the April 30 deadline with a statement acknowledging the starting of new assignments being made.

With tens of thousands of missionaries being released or returning to their home countries for reassignment due to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past several months, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on March 31 announced adjustments and options for missionary service, including temporary releases and reassignments when conditions allow, or the delay of one’s missionary service.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many missionaries around the world have returned to their home countries to self-isolate, while others have completed online training for their missionary training center experience,” said Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff, with his April 30 statement a month after the First Presidency’s announced adjustments.

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“The process of reassigning these missionaries to missions in their home countries is underway, and they have started receiving their new assignments.”

Adam Dummer uses a laptop and video conferencing at the Provo Missionary Training Center to train first-day new missionaries at home on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. In an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19, missionaries are being trained by remote video conference rather than travel to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 10 missionary training centers.
Adam Dummer uses a laptop and video conferencing at the Provo Missionary Training Center to train first-day new missionaries at home on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. In an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19, missionaries are being trained by remote video conference rather than travel to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 10 missionary training centers. Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

These missionaries had been given two options — one, to be reinstated to the original mission or a temporary assignment — as determined by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — as soon as conditions allow, with the missionary retaining the original end date. The other option is to return to service within 12 to 18 months and be given a new end date.

Missionaries were asked to give notice to their stake presidents by April 30 as to which option they chose.

“All reassignments are being made by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,” Woodruff said. “Many missionaries throughout the world have already begun their new assignments, and some missionaries in the United States and Canada will depart for their new assignments beginning next week.”

Missionary travel to missions will continue on a staggered basis throughout the next several months, based on local circumstances, he said, adding that once in their new assignments, missionaries will take part in activities appropriate to the local communities where they will serve.

Sister Hannah Hargrave, a new missionary who is training in her own home in San Tan Valley, Arizona, points to her nametag in her room in March 2020.
Sister Hannah Hargrave, a new missionary who is training in her own home in San Tan Valley, Arizona, points to her nametag in her room in March 2020. Credit: Courtesy of Jim Hargrave

“All missionaries will continue to strictly follow local and national public health guidelines relating to travel, personal interaction, and preventing any further spread of COVID-19. At this point, it is unknown how long missionaries will serve in their new assignments. Any return to their original missions is dependent on conditions associated with the pandemic.”

The Church, Woodruff said, is appreciative of missionaries who have served, are serving and are preparing to serve “who have shown faith and resilience in the middle of this uncertain time. We are confident they will have positive, meaningful experiences as they serve the Lord and seek to share His love with others.”