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A Guiding Light

As the shepherds of BYU-Pathway, service missionaries lead students to education and Jesus Christ


Shepherds have long been a symbol of someone who cares for, protects, and guides their flock. It’s no coincidence that the angel of the Lord first announced the birth of Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd, to shepherds in Bethlehem.

Service missionaries assigned to BYU-Pathway Worldwide act as shepherds by finding students and helping them enroll, facilitating weekly gatherings, and supporting them along their educational journey. Most importantly, they invite students — members and friends of the Church alike — to make and keep sacred covenants with Jesus Christ.

Camille N. Johnson, Relief Society General President, said, “As a service missionary [with BYU-Pathway], you ... help foster a spiritual environment for your students to feel the love of Heavenly Father and the Savior. Often, you and your gathering group will be the first contact many friends of the Church have with the gospel of Jesus Christ.” 1
Camille N. Johnson, “‘I Will Not Forget Thee’: Our Savior’s Promise” (BYU-Pathway Worldwide President’s Dinner, Oct. 2023)

In 2023, more than 3,000 missionaries volunteered a total of 2,077,504 hours. But their impact goes far beyond hours served; the work of BYU-Pathway is impossible without them, and students will remember their love for years to come.

Elder and Sister Tyrell


While Tili and Moira Tyrell live in Utah, they are from American Samoa and Samoa, respectively, and love serving students in the South Pacific. The Tyrells became service missionaries after witnessing education improve the quality of life for students and their families.

“We believe education opens doors to spiritual and temporal blessings,” Elder Tyrell said. “We love to see the change in students as they each come to realize that they can become college graduates.”

For the Tyrells, serving means meeting BYU-Pathway students where they are and helping them get where they need to be.

“It is our privilege and responsibility to share the joy that comes with being a true disciple of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Their students inspire them to work hard, even when that means staying up late for gatherings due to the time difference between American Samoa and Utah.

Makerita Tuna, one of the Tyrells’ students, expressed how much they have helped her: “Your guidance and encouragement inspired me to continue my education. I thought of giving up, but you helped me to persevere. Thank you for lighting my path!"

Elder and Sister Ruivivar


Serving also blesses missionaries themselves. When the Ruivivars first immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines, Niko was busy as a BYU-Pathway student, and May often felt alone as she struggled with unemployment, infertility, and mental health. When they were called to be missionaries for BYU-Pathway, May was excited to find new purpose.

“For the first time in a while, I didn’t focus on what I couldn’t have but rather on the growth of our students,” Sister Ruivivar said. “I believe this calling was God’s answer to me.”

Blessings flooded in. The Ruivivars became more diligent in their scripture study, temple attendance, and Church callings. They prayed before gatherings and for their students every night. Gatherings even became special quality time to spend together.“

Gradually my mental health became better, and we started witnessing miracles,” said Sister Ruivivar. “We pay our bills on time, and we have a new calling — becoming parents!”

The Ruivivars’ favorite part of serving has been coming to love their students in the Philippines: “We get to experience the happiness Heavenly Father feels when we experience growth. When we see His children progress, we can feel how happy He is.”

Guiding students toward Jesus Christ

The service missionaries of BYU-Pathway are some of the best examples of leadership, kindness, and love as they guide students toward the light of Jesus Christ.

If you’re interested in serving as a missionary for BYU-Pathway, visit .

Your guidance and support have been a beacon of light, helping me navigate both the challenges and joys of life. Your unwavering commitment and love have made a lasting impression on me.
Oladipupo Abiodun
Your genuine care created a comforting environment, making me feel truly loved and valued. Your dedication has left an indelible mark on my heart, and I am immensely grateful
Davidson Michel
Tennessee, USA
You radiate light and divine love. Every encounter with you was more than a lesson; it touched our hearts and is a treasure I will carry forever.
Erick Silva