A local couple has recently been called to the full-time mission field.
Bill and Vicky Sperlein of Centerville will be serving at the Georgia Macon Mission in Macon for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bill will be serving as the mission financial secretary, while Vicky will be the mission secretary.
This will not be the first time that Bill and Vicky have served the church. For eight years Bill served as counselor to the bishop and then as bishop for five years. Vicky and Bill ran a church employment center for three years.
The Georgia Macon Mission was opened in July to help oversee more than 200 missionaries in the Middle Georgia area. Bill as financial secretary administers the finances, while Vicky serves in an office manager capacity.
Vicky explained that older couples can request specific places to serve.
It is a desire. You then make an application and it goes to Salt Lake City where it is prayed about and determined where you will serve. Senior couples can ask to be assigned to specific places, and we requested Macon, Vicky said.
The age to be a missionary was lowered last year, and because of that the LDS church has received a massive influx of missionaries.
It really has increased the incoming missionary population, Vicky said.
The Macon mission was one of 58 missions opened worldwide in the past year.
Vicky explained that the duties of the missionaries vary greatly, but that all are involved in community service.
Members of the church refer people that would like to learn about the Gospel. They deliver Bibles that are requested through the television ads. They volunteer in libraries, hospitals, you name it, Vicky said.
The mission, although only a few months old, is already making an impact in the community. Most missionaries train in Provo, Utah, but those desiring to learn a language such as Spanish attend the Language Training Center in Mexico City. All told, 17 million people worldwide belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Spanish is the most common language among members. Missionaries from the Georgia Macon Mission conduct English as a Second Language classes in Warner Robins.
The appointment was a longtime desire of the couple, who joined the LDS church later in life and didnt serve as missionaries as young people. Both of their sons have served; Patrick in Cleveland, Ohio, and Justin in Moscow, Russia.
It is something that we have always wanted to do, Vicky said. We have been looking forward to this for decades.
Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.