From Kiribati to Sammamish, Washington


Many missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have experienced COVID-19 related changes of assignment.

Elder Tautai Kealakaaikupaa Fano served for over seven months of his 24-month mission in the Marshall Islands/Kiribati Mission.


With Hawaiian and Samoan parents, Elder Fano was eager to serve in the Pacific.  In order to meet people to teach, he often husked coconuts, helped with the fishing, and cleaned out wells with his Polynesian missionary companions.

Returning to his home in American Fork, Utah in April, due to COVID-19-related mission releases, Tautai worked hard to keep the spirit of love and service as well as the focus and energy he experienced on his mission.

He resumed his pre-mission social media efforts to share uplifting and humorous messages of faith on TicTok, a video-sharing social networking service.

He decided to return to the mission field as soon as possible and was reassigned to the Washington Seattle Mission.  In July he began serving in the city of Sammamish, Washington.   

«I was a representative of the Lord in Kiribati and I am a representative of the Lord in Sammamish,” he says. “There is no difference, even though the food and circumstances are so different. I have learned to have my faith centered in Jesus Christ.”

Elder Fano sees a contrast in the cultures and people’s openness to talking about God. He has learned he must now work harder to find people who will listen to his message. 

 He and his mission companion, Elder Westerlind, are making videos and vlogs of missionary skits, challenges and conversations almost daily on Facebook.

© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.


“Missionary work is the same, but it is changing in how we do it,” he says. “Who would have thought we’d be finding people interested in hearing the message of the gospel on social media and making videos.”

He adds, “We want people to see we’re not just people in badges, we’re real people who have real personalities.”

The missionaries are meeting and talking to people in unusual places, like pickleball and volleyball courts, washing cars, family history booths in the park, and at skate parks.

© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.


When asked how he stays motivated during the strict COVID restrictions in Washington, Elder Fano says, “I know the Lord has a purpose for me here. I have to work harder so the Lord can see my efforts and the time will go faster for me to return to Kiribati.

“And we remember our purpose at all times—to bring people to Christ. At the end of the day it is not how many cars we wash or who wins the pickleball game, it’s how many people’s lives we brighten and hearts we touch.”

Los artículos de esta sección no son oficiales pero han sido tomados de una fuente confiable y acreditada. La traducción es automática y puede dejar mucho que desear, sin embargo, a pesar de estas deficiencias, se ha realizado un esfuerzo para poner la información al alcance del público de habla hispana. Para ver el artículo completo original en inglés, consulta la siguiente Fuente:

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