Tatiana Littlefield | Posted: 29 May 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Empey to serve in the New Zealand Hamilton Mission

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PROVO, Utah – Freshman goalkeeper Savanna Empey has been called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New Zealand Hamilton Mission.

Empey will enter the New Zealand Missionary Training Center in Manukau City, New Zealand on Tuesday, Jun. 5. She will be speaking the English language and it is anticipated that she will spend two weeks in the MTC.

The American Fork, Utah native, has always wanted to serve a mission and thought she would go to a Spanish-speaking mission.

“It was the last place I would have thought,” Empey said. “But when you open your mission call you totally feel like it is where you are supposed to be.”

Empey always knew serving a mission was something she wanted to do, despite having a strong desire to pursue her love for soccer at the collegiate level. At the end of the day, she knew going on a mission was what she needed to do, and her coaches and teammates have been supportive throughout the entire process.

“[The coaches] have been really supportive,” Empey said. “I wanted to make sure I was going before I communicated with them and after I told them, they always wanted to stay updated on how everything was going. It felt good to know that I had support from my coaches as well as my teammates.”

Four players on the current BYU women’s soccer roster have previously served LDS missions: Rachel Bingham Lyman (Guatemala), Alyssa Jefferson (El Salvador), Shaylyn Redding (California) and Josie Manwill (Japan).

“Other teammates who had gotten home from missions were a really good influence on me,” Empey said. “When I needed someone to talk to or when I had questions, those girls who had the same experiences and feelings were really helpful to talk to. It was a blessing to have them.”

Empey will join teammate Ellie Smith in the mission field. Smith is currently serving in the Alpine German-speaking Mission. The goalkeeper will return to BYU as a redshirt freshman following her service as a missionary.

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