Missionary, North Texas, Texas Fort Worth Mission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Volunteer, Young Single Adults

Service Missionaries Brighten DFW Communities

Sister Kalina Fajardo

Around the world and across the metroplex, missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are easily recognized: clean-shaved young men in white shirts and ties, or smartly dressed young women, who go about in pairs sharing their faith and giving service. They serve voluntarily, putting aside school, work, and dating, to accept a mission call to an assigned location somewhere in the world for 18-24 months, all at their own expense. The Church encourages service for all young men and young women around the world.

Several years ago, the Church introduced an expanded mission opportunity for young adults who have the same desire to serve the Lord and their fellowman but whose health or other circumstances are best suited to serve while living at home. These young men and women are called as Service Missionaries, with the same commitment to set aside the things of the world and dedicate themselves for 1½ -2 years serving others as Jesus Christ would. They wear the familiar missionary name badge, but instead of teaching others about their beliefs, they volunteer at local charities to help the less fortunate, usually wearing a t-shirt and jeans instead of a white shirt and a tie. The Church explains that a service mission’s purpose is “to help others come unto Christ by serving them as the Savior would. We serve voluntarily in charitable organizations, Church functions, and within the community. We will minister in His name to the one, just as He did, expressing His loving kindness.”

Across North Texas, service missionaries have grown from just a handful two years ago to more than forty who currently volunteer in twenty-five local charities. Service missionaries spend each week serving in various food pantries, homeless shelters, and charities assisting children in crisis and disabled adults across the area. There are over 3000 Service Missionaries serving across the globe.

“When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17)

Elder Jason Alexander with a friend.

Sister Kalina Fajardo, a young woman from Fort Worth, Texas, currently serves a mission by helping local charities such as Advocates for Special People in Arlington. At Advocates, Sister Fajardo serves intellectually disabled adults and their families. She works with individuals to develop life skills such as self-advocating and resolving conflicts. Kalina says, “Jesus Christ has done everything for me–He’s been a friend, an example, a light, and a Savior for me. I can never pay Him back, but I can represent Him well by serving each of God’s children, just as He would. I serve to bring a little more of Christ’s love into our world!”

Another young person who is serving others in the Dallas/Fort Worth area is Sister Rachel Farnsworth from Springtown. She says, “I serve because I love my Father in Heaven and I want to share His love with everyone. I can help them move from the dark to the light of the Savior. I serve to build up others and lift the downtrodden.” Rachel is currently helping at two different Weatherford organizations, the Manna Storehouse and Golden Reward Sanctuary. At Manna Storehouse, she helps with its mission “to assist those in need to sustain a dignified life.” Sister Farnsworth also enjoys working with the aging horses and dogs at Golden Reward Sanctuary. The Sanctuary provides “quality care [to aging horses and dogs] and lots of love for animals that need extra attention due to their advanced age” providing “a forever home where they won’t be at risk.”

Elder Caleb Harvie is a young man from North Richland Hills, Texas who is currently a Service Missionary. Caleb says, “I serve because I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed my life. By serving others, I have succeeded.”

Elder Caleb Harvie with Angie Adams from Advocates for Special People in Arlington.

Elder Jason Alexander from Arlington, Texas is spreading joy at Arlington Life Shelter. He helps assist individuals and families impacted by homelessness. The Shelter provides access to jobs, legal aid, life skill development and more. Jason says, “I serve other people because I want what God wants. Jesus Christ has shown me so much love and I want to share that love with other people.”

Sister Kendra Gardine is from Forth Worth and speaks Spanish. She says, “Como misionero de servicio tengo la oportunidad especial de poder amar a la gente que sirvo; Asi como Jesus amaba a la gente.” Translation: “As a service missionary, I have the special opportunity to love the people I serve just as Christ loved the people whom he served.”

Recently she aided Christ’s Haven For Children in Keller. Christ’s Haven provides “displaced children shelter . . . and creates a trauma-informed, family model of care to nurture those children.” She has found joy in serving the children there.

Elder D’Marco Yorke is a young man from Mansfield, Texas. He has been a service missionary during the past 14 months and works on assignments including helping his grandparents, volunteering at HIM Food Bank and working with Harvest International Center. The Harvest International Center, has a broad vision for ministry inspired by John 21, to “take care of, shepherd and look after My sheep.”

Sister Kendra Gardine serving with other volunteers

D’Marco enjoys participating in that mission. He especially enjoys using his mechanical skills in projects like assembling cars to benefit members of the community. D’Marco was born in Russia and spent part of his youth in a Russian orphanage where he was frequently kept in isolation. After his adoption by loving parents in Texas, D’Marco has grown up and struggled with anxiety and learning disabilities. Being a Service Missionary gives him positive energy and positive focus. His favorite scripture is Romans 14:4. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up; for God is able to make him stand.”

Next time you’re at a volunteer event or donating goods in your community, be sure to keep your eye out for one of these amazing young Service Missionaries. They’re sure to brighten your day, just as they brighten the communities in which they serve.

Sister Rachel Farnsworth with some of her fellow Service Missionaries

To read more about Service Missionaries in the DFW Metroplex, click on the following articles:

Missionaries Named 2021 Volunteers of the Year

Missionaries Recognized for Service

Young Man Gave Two Years of Community Service Despite Medical Challenges Before Sudden Death at Age 24

Service Missionaries Make a Difference in DFW