News Release

Elder Ardern Welcomes New Mission Leaders to Ethiopia

Elder Ian S. Ardern, General Authority Seventy and Second Counselor of the Africa Central Area presidency, and his wife, Sister Paula Ardern, traveled to Ethiopia to assist in the transition between President Oliva and Sister Rebecca Cowley as the new leaders of the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Mission on July 2, 2023, and bid farewell to departing President Robert and Sister Darice Dudfield, who completed their service as mission leaders.

Elder Ardern commented that in Ethiopia, many important contacts with civic leaders have been made over the last three years and it was therefore important for the mission leaders to have a transition that lasted a little longer than the usual few hours. It was most helpful, he said, for the continuation of those relationships, that the transition included a member of the Area Presidency and his wife.

Addis Ababa District President Efrem M. Aemero and all Ethiopia branch presidents were also present to say goodbye to the Dudfields and welcome the Cowleys.

President and Sister Cowley have five children, and they come from Koromatua Ward, Temple View Stake, in Hamiliton, New Zealand. President Cowley has served as a mission presidency counselor, stake presidency counselor, bishop, bishopric counselor, seminary teacher and missionary in the New Zealand Wellington Mission. He was born in Tokoroa, New Zealand, to Ike Oliver Cowley and Margaret Wihongi Cowley.

Sister Cowley was a seminary teacher, stake Relief Society presidency counselor, ward Young Women president, Young Women adviser, and Relief Society compassionate service coordinator. She was born in Brisbane, Australia, and is daughter to Glen and Pauline O’Brien and Stephanie Hammond

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