OGDEN — The Ogden LDS Mission has a new president, new boundaries and some fresh goals.
Maurice Hiers was called to be the president of the Ogden Mission last winter, but just started the calling in July. He and his wife, Charlene, moved to Ogden from Boston.
Hiers had never lived in Utah and is a native of New Mexico. He just retired as a technology consultant in January and was serving as a stake president.
“I retired and I was thinking leisurely thoughts of maybe going on a mission in the fall, but then this call came out of the blue,” Hiers said.
He said he and his wife are very happy to be in the area. They have visited Utah frequently when seeing their five daughters, who attended college at Utah State University and Brigham Young University.
When Hiers took over as president, some other changes had just occurred because the boundaries were realigned for the Ogden Mission. Two missions were created where there had only been one in the Salt Lake City area.
The new Salt Lake Mission takes in some Davis County cities that were once in the Ogden Mission. Centerville, Bountiful and Kaysville all moved into the Salt Lake City North Mission. The Ogden mission didn’t gain any new areas, but still reaches to the north to Star Valley, Wyo.
The new Salt Lake Mission was created because people are moving to the area and the church is focusing not just on baptizing, but also on retention of new members, Hiers said.
The Ogden Mission has approximately 240 missionaries, with about 40 of those missionaries assigned to Spanish-speaking missions.
Hiers said things are going very well.
“The mission is stronger than ever,” he said.
Hiers has many goals for the Ogden Mission. He would like to have a greater outreach in the community and a large outpouring of service in the area.
“I would like us to highlight many of the wonderful parts of our heritage,” he said.
He is also very excited for the Brigham City Temple to be open and in use and looks forward to the Ogden Temple being rededicated and opened next year.
The Star Valley Temple will also begin construction soon.
“There will be four temples in this mission in the next three years,” Hiers said.
He will continue with some successful traditions among the missionaries. Once a quarter, the missionaries do a musical celebration and performance within the mission at various LDS venues. In October, the missionaries will perform at the Logan Tabernacle.
Hiers loves the diversity of the mission with 35 percent of missionaries coming from foreign countries.
“This is one of the highest-baptizing missions in the United States. When you come here, you teach the gospel,” Hiers said.
He was quick to point out that it doesn’t matter if missionaries are baptizing new converts or working on reactivation — either way, the gospel of Jesus Christ is being taught.
Members are also an important key in the missionary equation, he said.
“They play a significant role in sharing the gospel with friends and neighbors,” he noted.
Mission presidents are usually called for about three years, and Hiers and his wife are delighted to spend their time in Ogden.