Missionaries serving in tiny African kingdom

The tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho, which officially recognized the Church on July 6, received full-time missionaries recently.

Lesotho, formerly Basutoland, is an independent kingdom located in southeast Africa surrounded by South Africa. King Moshoehoe II (pronounced moshWAY-shway) is the chief of state. The kingdom covers 11,716 square miles and is about the size of Maryland. Its 1980 population was a little more than 1.3 million. Agriculture is the main industry of the kingdom.Lesotho is within the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. Mission Pres. R. J. Snow assigned two missionaries, Elder Marc Modersitzki of Bancroft, Idaho, and Elder Bradley Saunderson of Durban, South Africa, to serve in Lesotho. They are beginning their efforts in Ladybrand, near the Lesotho border city of Maseru, the kingdom's capital and, with a population of 75,000, its largest city.

A small group now meets in Maseru; Garry Massey, a high priest from Fresno, Calif., is the presiding officer. Ten to 12 people meet weekly in sacrament meetings, Sunday School and auxiliary meetings.

"The Basuto people are warm and friendly, and they have welcomed us," said Pres. Snow. "They have been taught Christianity by missionaries of various faiths for many years. Those to whom we have spoken are eager to study the Book of Mormon, and we feel the Spirit of our Heavenly Father as we teach. We are blessed to associate with them."