The Russia Vladivostok mission will be merged with the Russia Novosibirsk mission, according to a First Presidency statement.

The Russia Vladivostok mission will be merged with the Russia Novosibirsk mission, according to a First Presidency statement on May 20.

“July 1, the Russia Vladivostok Mission will merge with the Russia Novosibirsk Mission,” according to the statement from the First Presidency. “Doing so requires fewer volunteers to staff the combined mission.”

According to Lena Wilson, who served in the Russia Vladivostok Mission and is a freshman studying special education, the merge happened through inspiration. The Russia Vladivostok Mission did not have a lot of missionaries to begin with.

Hannah Wilson said the Russian government passed an anti-terrorism law in July 2016, a sophomore studying biostatistics who served in the Russia Vladivostok Mission.

The Church announced they would be obedient to the law change shortly thereafter, according to a statement released shortly after the law change.

MIKAYLA CLARK | Scroll Photography

“I remember in July, when the law change happened, at first thinking, ‘This is the worst thing ever,’” Hannah Wilson said. “Then, probably ten minutes later, it was like, ‘No, this is going to be OK. The Lord knows what He’s doing.’”

Hannah Wilson said she thinks the change will be good to help focus to work on more specific needs.

“I think it will lessen the problem of people attacking our missionaries,” Lena Wilson said.

According to the First Presidency statement, President Perkinson, who has served as president in the Russia Vladiovostok mission for the past two years, and his wife have been released.

“We are grateful for their years of faithful service. The Europe East Area Presidency will supervise the combining of the two missions,” according to the statement from the First Presidency.

“I remember in July, when the law change happened, at first thinking, ‘This is the worst thing ever,’” Hannah Wilson said. “Then, probably ten minutes later, it was like, ‘No, this is going to be OK. The Lord knows what He’s doing.’”

MIKAYLA CLARK | Scroll Photography

According to an article on lds.org Michael G. Williams, current president of the Russia Novosibirsk Mission, will be replaced by Stephen E. Lamb in July.

Hannah Wilson said Stephen E. Lamb and his wife were a senior couple in the Vladivostok mission about 2 1/2 years ago.

“The Lord knew. He’s prepared this couple,” Hannah Wilson said. “They know the situation of Vladivostok very well, and they know the cities, and the potential, which I think is a blessing. Vladivostok will not be forgotten in the Russia Novosibirsk mission, because this couple has such a love already for that mission.”

Missionaries who were set to return home in July were sent home in late May, and other missionaries were reassigned to complete their missionary service in the United States, according to the First Presidency statement.

Lena Wilson has not been in contact with Russian members as of yet, but she said this change will put even more responsibility on the members.

Hannah Wilson said after the law change in July, the Russia Vladivostok mission started getting more native Russian missionaries and fewer American missionaries.

“This past December we were told to light up the world, and I think that’s what missionary work is,” Hannah Wilson said.