Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brunswick, Maryland City Councilman Wayne Allgaier To Resign Seat In Order To Become An LDS Temple Missionary In Finland

It looks like we're seeing a trend toward older established Latter-day Saint couples pulling up stakes and serving missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to Gazette.net, Brunswick Councilman Wayne Allgaier proposes to join the club.

Allgaer and his wife Vicki have reportedly accepted a call from the LDS Church to do temple missionary work for 18 months in Finland. A temple mission falls more under the category of "service mission" rather than a "proselytizing mission", although Allgaier undoubtedly will seek opportunities to deliver the Gospel message individually to people. Allgaier himself previously served a two-and-a-half-year proselytizing mission in Finland when he was only 19. The LDS Temple in Finland is located in Helsinki.

As a result, the 65-year-old Allgaier, who recently retired from practicing medicine full-time at Frederick Primary Care Associates in Brunswick, will leave his council seat more than a year before his term ends, and the city will hold a special election to find a replacement to hold his seat until August 10th, 2010. His last day on the council will be April 30th.

And why did Allgaier decide to do this? "After I retired in August, Vicki and I decided we'd spend a little time over in Europe," he explained. "We spent six days in Finland and traveled around some of the towns I had been and actually went to the temple there one day. The temple told us they were looking for missionaries there to help them … and we said we're definitely interested".

Allgaier also said the commitment many members of his faith have to service was a contributing factor to he and his wife's interest in doing mission work in Finland, but that the couple also have a drive to do good works. "I think it's just that in our church it's a common practice. Most young men in our church go on a two-year proselytizing mission, and a lot of older couples go on a senior mission like this," he said. "And it's just a natural thing to want to do something like this … We just feel that we're needed there and want to help. Its conceivable after we get back and rest up for a while we may go on another mission, maybe a medical mission." A medical mission would also fall under the category of "service mission".

While Wayne Allgaier undoubtedly retains some knowledge of the Finnish language, it's possible he'll begin his mission with a trip to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, to brush up on his language fluency as well as the Church's latest mission procedures. Older couples can generally pick the type and location of their mission, as further discussed HERE, serving in a variety of ways. These volunteers also help the Church keep its overhead as low as possible.

Additional information about missionary preparation and service is available HERE and HERE.

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