With the setting apart of Elder Daniel Peedle and Elder Michael Hayes as full-time service missionaries, March 2022 became an historic month for the Lichfield England Stake. They joined Elder Daniel Gardner and Elder Joseph Kureczko, who had been set apart as service missionaries in October 2021.
The Lichfield Stake and its members feel excited and blessed to have four service missionaries serving in charitable organisations within the Stake. Each service missionary has committed two years of their life to strengthening their faith and testimony by serving as the Saviour would.
Elder Daniel Gardner of the Cannock Ward serves with the Salvation Army and New Life, a charity that helps disabled and terminally ill children. Speaking in sacrament meeting on the day of his setting apart he said, “I remember that during my patriarchal blessing I was told that I would have the opportunity to serve a special mission. I prayed and felt strongly that I should follow the words of the blessing and so I started to prepare to serve a mission, though at the time I didn’t understand where or when this would happen. I hope that my service mission will create opportunities for me to bless the lives of those that I serve and that the people who benefit from my service will in turn go on to serve others.”
Elder Joseph Kureczko of the Burton on Trent Ward has spent many hours transcribing names for the Billion Graves Project and in local community projects. In recent weeks he has been involved in supporting the Ukrainian Refugee Appeal in his local community. In sharing his thoughts about his service mission, Elder Kureczko said, “I have learned that I have many family ties to the early Church pioneers and love to learn about my ancestry, which has led me to become increasingly interested in temple and family-history work. I enjoy supporting local charities working with the homeless and those with mental health challenges.”
Elder Daniel Peedle of the Wolverhampton 2nd Ward serves with the Compton Care Hospice Charity and the Billion Graves Project. He also serves in the Preston Temple as an ordinance worker for one week each month. In speaking of his desire to serve he said, “I was so pleased to receive my call from President Russell M Nelson. I am proud of my calling as a service missionary and hope that as I progress on my mission, I will become closer to my Heavenly Father and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I will do my best to be an example of the Saviour to those I serve at church and in the community. I hope that through my missionary experiences I will gain a greater testimony of the restored gospel. I am so excited to get out and serve in the community and alongside my fellow service missionaries.”
Elder Michael Hayes of the Walsall Ward spends time serving with the Walsall Society for the Blind and the Billion Graves Project. In sharing his thoughts about the blessing of service Elder Hayes said, “Unfortunately, due to health challenges, I couldn’t serve a teaching mission. I remember sitting at home upset that I wouldn’t be able to serve the Lord. Then one day the bishop spoke with me about a new mission opportunity. I will never forget the feeling I had when he told me that I could serve for two years as a service missionary. I didn’t know what a service mission was until he spoke about it, but what I did know is that I felt the spirit so strongly, without hesitation I said, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” I knew this is what I had to do. I am nervous, but I know that with the help of my Heavenly Father, I can do anything.”
Each service missionary was set apart by their Stake President, President Mark Hamilton, who is delighted by the opportunity service missions are providing them to serve from home and grow in maturity, life, and gospel experience. Commenting on the blessings of a service mission, President Hamilton said, “We have witnessed a change in each of the service missionaries in the short time they have served. They have grown in confidence and in their willingness and ability to contribute and make a difference in their community and Church responsibilities. Through their service in local charities, they are changing perceptions and helping others come unto Christ and appreciate that the Church cares about people in the community.”