Church Missionary Returns Home From Hong Kong Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Feb 7, 2020, 11:00 PM | Updated: Feb 17, 2020, 10:09 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Church missionary serving in Hong Kong was one of many sent home this week amid concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Still kind of processing it all,” said Elder Cameron Eldridge, whose mission to Hong Kong for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been anything but typical.

Eldridge said his Cantonese still needs a lot of work, and you can’t blame him. He spent the first several months of his mission in San Diego, California, because of months of protests across Hong Kong.

By the time he finally arrived in his assigned mission on Jan. 27, concern had already shifted to the coronavirus.

“Everyone had masks. A lot of parks and stuff were shut down. So, it’s obviously a little scary,” said Eldridge, who spent most of the time indoors studying with his companion. “Not a lockdown but staying inside most of the time. Only going out for exercise and for food. So, no lessons. Church had been canceled.”

And his time there would soon be cut short. On Tuesday, Church officials said, “In light of the coronavirus and the increasing difficulty of conducting missionary work in Hong Kong and Macau, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is transferring 113 missionaries out of the China Hong Kong Mission over the next few days.”

“It just happened fast. Our stake president notified us he would be home Thursday,” said Eldridge’s mother, Natasha. “I wasn’t too worried about it. I think the church is probably doing the right thing, keeping the missionaries as safe as they can be.”

For now, Eldridge has been reassigned to serve in San Diego. But before he packs his bags again, the Church said, “out of an abundance of caution, most missionaries will return to their homes and follow guidelines from the World Health Organization, including to self-isolate for 14 days.”

Eldridge arrived home Thursday night, just eight days after arriving in Hong Kong.

“They said for two weeks to just stay inside. Make sure to stay six feet away from people. Don’t get too close,” he said with a smile while sitting next to his mom.

“Cameron’s been really flexible throughout this whole thing. We’re happy to have him,” Natasha said.

The first months of his mission were far from the experience Eldridge expected. Yet, he said, “It was really exciting to see how much everyone, all the missionaries loved Hong Kong. Even for the small time I was there, it’s a really great place.”

And he’s hoping he will eventually be able to return to Hong Kong as a missionary.

“Last we heard from our [mission] president is, it will take a while. We’re not sure the timeline. But we’ll be back in Hong Kong,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live


Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

4 days ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

16 days ago

FILE - Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, Aug. 1, 2022. The COVID-19 ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

The COVID-19 treatments millions of have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

1 month ago

Toddlers dance during play time at Living Water Child Care and Learning Center as center director J...

Associated Press

Child care programs just lost thousands of federal dollars. Families, providers scramble to cope

After two years of receiving federal subsidies, 220,000 child care programs across the country were cut off from funding Saturday Utah

2 months ago

Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Assembly, right, announces the winner of the 2023 Nobel Pri...

David Keyton and Mike Corder

Nobel in medicine goes to 2 scientists whose work enabled creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19

Two scientists have won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that enabled the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 and could be used in the future to create other shots.

2 months ago

child in doctor's office...

Mike Anderson

Flu, COVID cases expected to rise in Utah

The number of COVID-19 diagnoses continues to stay above what we saw over the summer but now some doctors are starting to see early signs of the flu as well.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Church Missionary Returns Home From Hong Kong Amid Coronavirus Concerns