(KSL/CNN) — Due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus, all Mormon missionaries serving in the African nations of Sierra Leone and Liberia are in the process of being transferred out.
So when Jennifer Rindlisbacher learned earlier this year her son Tanner would serve in Sierra Leone, where Ebola, at the time, was a concern?
“You just had to really trust that the church would look after them like your own children,” she said.
She just received new pictures from her son in the missionary training center in Ghana, and he seems happy.
“I think his words were ‘Africa is amazing,'” she said.
“As long as he obeys the rules, and does what he’s supposed to be doing, we’re really not that concerned,” said Rindlisbacher’s husband Brian.
“I’m lucky my son’s safe,” Jennifer Rindlisbacher said, “but everybody’s not so fortunate.”
Elder Rain Price has been serving in Liberia for 10 months. His dad says he’ll actually be sad to leave.
“He was mentioning areas that Ebola was in and he actually liked working in those areas,” said Dale Price. “He said it was just kind of part of what he was there to do.”
The church says health and safety has been a top priority, and a number of precautions have been taken, including asking missionaries to stay in their apartments.
“This news doesn’t come as a huge surprise, or as a big shock,” Dale Price said. “It just kind of verifies that the church is on top of things.”
An LDS spokesperson confirmed two church members in the region have died from the virus.
Two hundred seventy-four missionaries are now being transferred out and three church members currently in the Ghana missionary training center will also be moved.
“He already has a love for the people of Sierra Leone,” said Jennifer Rindlisbacher. “It just naturally comes with the idea of serving them.”
Elder Tanner Rindlisbacher may now end up somewhere he never dreamed.
“He’ll miss that opportunity,” his mother said, “but he’ll be happy to serve wherever he goes.”