News Release

Senior Missionaries Serving People of Kenya and Tanzania

Senior couples from the United States and Canada are serving in many different callings in the East African countries of Kenya and Tanzania.  Eight couples are now scattered in different cities all doing various assignments to help members and non-members alike learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Recently called mission president Ephraim Msane and his wife Nomthi have come from South Africa to direct the missionary work in both Kenya and Tanzania.  He was before being called as mission president involved in business ventures and now is doing full time church service.  President Msane said, “We have always wanted to serve in the church together.”  Now they can devote all of their time to the direction of missionary work in these East African countries.


Creed and Renal Jones from Joplin, Missouri in the United States are serving in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and help operate the church offices their as well as do membership leader support.  Thomas and Carol Colemere from Salt Lake City, Utah a former Real Estate agent, are in the city of Mwanza on the banks of Lake Victoria in Tanzania.  They are having the time of their lives learning to speak Swahili and helping the members of the church in this large city.

John and Kaylene Petersen from Glendora, California in the USA are LDS Charities missionaries assigned to the Nairobi, Kenya area.  They have overseen water projects, school improvement projects and have assisted in wheelchair and vision projects in several areas of Kenya.  They said of their mission service, “Helping make a better life for these wonderful people has been such a great experience for us”.

Michael and Charleen Ford from Utah, USA are the public affairs missionaries for all of East Africa.  Their assignment has been to make friends with government officials and the news media to help the countries of Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania better understand the global Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Their mission has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to “help others understand that we follow the teaching of Jesus Christ and that God loves all of his children”.

LaRon and Colleen Torrie are assigned to the Kenya Nairobi Mission Office and coordinate the work of some 90 missionaries in their mission.  They are from Alberta, Canada and run a large farm in that area of the world.  Jim and Emily Pehrson from Utah, USA are coordinating the Seminary and Institute programs of the church in Western Kenya.

Full-time senior missionaries are called by the president of the Church. They serve voluntarily and at their own expense and generally serve after their retirement from the workforce.

Senior couples and senior sisters fulfill a wide range of missions, including proselytizing, humanitarian, health and education, as well as leadership missions. In the 400-plus missions around the world, senior missionaries help keep the mission offices running as they fulfill duties including secretarial, finances, telephone, housing, carpool and tracking weekly referrals (people interested in knowing more about the Church). They can also be a great asset to local congregations as they seek out less-active members and mentor local Church leaders.

Kenya and Tanzania church members have learned much from the many Senior Missionaries who have come to serve in their countries.  The mix of Western Cultures with the African Culture has been mutually beneficial as these mature couples have shared life experience with church members in East Africa.  Senior Missionaries return to their homes with a rich experience that can only come through service in the Church.

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