Latter-day Saint Life

‘Sister’ missionaries: Pres. Bonnie H. Cordon’s unusual mission, including an unexpected companion

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, left, is pictured with her sister, Linda. Both were missionaries in the Portugal Lisbon Mission and served as companions.
Credit: Church News; Bonnie Cordon

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on in January 2022.

Can you imagine being missionary companions with your sibling? Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon doesn’t have to imagine it—she lived it!

Sister Cordon’s parents, Harold and Carol Hillam, presided over the Portugal Lisbon Mission beginning in 1981. According to a 1990 Ensign article, their oldest daughter, Linda, had already received her call to the Portugal Lisbon Mission and was in the Missionary Training Center when her parents received their assignment—to the same mission their daughter was bound for. President Hillam said, “I sent her a telegram and signed it, ‘Your Mission President.’”

Bonnie was later called—before graduating high school—to serve in Portugal under her parents’ leadership as well. And so, during the last month of her sister’s mission, Bonnie was assigned to serve as Linda’s companion.

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“What a special and memorable experience,” Sister Cordon told Church News. “We each had the ‘Sister Hillam’ name badge. It confused a lot of people but it opened a lot of doors. People would ask, ‘Why do you have the same name?’ and then we would talk about families.”

Sister Cordon also had a unique experience related to the timing of her mission call. In conjunction with the 2022 Youth Theme from Proverbs 3:5–6, members of the Young Women and Young Men General Presidencies recently shared what it means to them to “trust in the Lord”.

Below is Sister Cordon’s response:

Because of my father’s call as a mission president, I received my own call to serve a mission earlier than the standard age for sister missionaries. That meant I would enter the missionary training center before high school graduation. To me, the timing did not make sense, but I received a strong spiritual confirmation to trust in the Lord. I did, and things worked out beautifully. Trusting the Lord means moving forward even when the path is not completely clear.

Read all the responses from the Young Women and Young Men General Presidencies here.

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