The First Presidency has called new presidents of eight of the missionary training centers around the world. The new leaders and their wives will be trained at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, Jan. 8-12, and will begin their two-year terms of service following their training.
The new presidents and their wives and assignments are: E. Reece and Cherie Alldredge Finlinson, Chile; Melvin E. and Margarita Pazos Gardner, Peru; D. Birch and Melba Joan Larsen, Brazil; C. Gary and Dolores Rae (Lorie) Lunt, Argentina; Byung Kyu and Young Ji Rhee Pak, Korea; John D. and Mary Eileen Parker, New Zealand; M. Moreno and LaVinia Argyle Robins, Guatemala; M. Tom and Junko Idehara Shimizu, Japan.E. Reece Finlinson, 68, was born in Oak City, Utah, to Esdras and Ethel Margaret Shipley Finlinson. He married Cherie Alldredge, and they are the parents of nine children. They are members of the Oak City 2nd Ward, Delta Utah Stake. Pres. Finlinson returned in July 1995 from presiding over the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission for three years. He is a former counselor in a stake presidency, bishop, high councilor, ward clerk, and missionary. He was a district administrator for the Millard School District for 18 years and has been active in Scouting and local politics.
Sister Finlinson was born in Oak City, Utah, to Mervyn J. and Bernice Roper Alldredge. She taught for eight years in the Millard School District before accompanying her husband to Argentina. She is serving as a Primary teacher and has served as Relief Society president and chorister, Primary president and teacher, a counselor in the MIA, and has served on the stake Primary board.
Melvin E. Gardner, 59, was born in Woodruff, Ariz., to Melvin and Inez Hatch Gardner. He married Margarita Pazos, and they are the parents of six children. They are members of the Mesa 13th Ward, Mesa Arizona Stake. Pres. Gardner is serving as a bishop's counselor and temple worker. He is a former president of the Mexico Puebla Mission, bishop, high councilor, branch president, and missionary. He was a teacher in the Florence Unified School District for 30 years.
Sister Gardner was born in Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico, to Gonzalo and Cecilia Lortia Pazos. She worked as a loan officer for eight years before accompanying her husband to Mexico. She is serving on the Relief Society homemaking committee and is a temple worker. She has also served as a Relief Society president, a leader in the Young Women organization, Primary president, and in various teaching positions.
D. Birch Larsen, 69, was born in Monroe, Utah, to Daniel J. and Gladys Eola Tuft Larsen. He married Melba Joan Parker, and they are the parents of six children. They are members of the Joseph Ward, Monroe Utah Stake. Pres. Gardner is serving as a gospel doctrine teacher. He is a former regional representative, institute teacher, president of the Barcelona Spain Mission, stake president, branch president, and missionary. He was a pharmacist for 40 years.
Sister Larsen was born in Joseph, Utah, to James E. and Lucina Snow Parker. She worked as a bookkeeper and clerk before she accompanied her husband to Portugal when he served as a regional representative. She is serving as the Relief Society spiritual living teacher. She has also served as ward and branch organist, stake Relief Society president, branch, ward, and stake librarian, and a companion to her husband in Spain.
C. Gary Lunt, 60, was born in Colonia, Pacheco, Mexico, to Clarence and Levetta Cluff Lunt. He married Dolores Rae (Lorie) Perry, and they are the parents of five children. They are members of the Crestwood Ward, Kaysville Utah Crestwood Stake. Pres. Lunt is serving as a high councilor. He is a former president of the Argentina Cordoba Mission, high priests group leader, bishop, branch president, and elders quorum president. He is a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force.
Sister Lunt was born in Jerome, Idaho, to Veril Delone and Bernice Sina Larson Perry. She is serving as a temple worker. She has also served as a spiritual living teacher, Relief Society president, and served with her husband in Argentina when he was mission president.
Byung Kyu Pak, 58, was born in Hampyung, Chunnam, Korea, to Bong Un and Yi Nuun Seo Pak. He married Young Ji Rhee, and they are the parents of three children. They are members of the Wandang Ward, Seoul Korea North Stake. Pres. Pak is serving as a member of the ward temple committee. He is a former temple president, regional representative, president of the Korea Pusan Mission, stake president, district president, and branch president. He has been working in the Church Educational System for the past 23 years.
Sister Pak was born in Hampyung, Chunnam, Korea, to Cheol Bum and Bok Ryae Kim Rhee. She is serving as a Relief Society teacher. She has also served as a Relief Society president and secretary, Primary president, temple matron, and served with her husband when he was mission president.
John D. Parker, 68, was born in York, England, to George Hartnoll and Lilly Heartshorne Parker. He married Mary Eileen Secker, and they have four children. They are members of the Mittagong Branch, Sydney Australia Campbelltown Stake. Pres. Parker is serving as a regional public affairs/government relations specialist. He has served as a regional representative, district president, a counselor in a temple presidency, president of the England London East Mission, counselor in a mission presidency, stake president, and bishop. He has been working as a tax consultant for 18 years.
Sister Parker was born in York, England, to Ernest Rowland and Edith Annie Sweeting Secker. She is serving as a family history center librarian. She has also served with her husband in the England London East Mission, stake Relief Society counselor, Relief Society president, a leader in the Young Women organization, and gospel doctrine teacher.
M. Moreno Robins, 64, was born in Nephi, Utah, to Melvin Henry and DeLoise Leavitt Robins. He married LaVinia Argyle, and they have five children. They are members of the Edgemont 7th Ward, Provo Utah Edgemont Stake. Pres. Robins is serving as an high priests quorum instructor. He has served as a stake mission president, high councilor, priests quorum adviser, president of the Mexico Guadalajara Mission, branch president, Scoutmaster, bishop and counselor in a bishopric, and missionary. He has been a pediatrician for 32 years.
Sister Robins was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Leland Mann and Columbia Loveland Argyle. She is serving as a ward activity leader. She has also with her husband in the Mexico Guadalajara Mission, stake camp leader, a teacher in the Young Women organization, and Junior Sunday School president.
M. Tom Shimizu, 62, was born in Los Angeles, Calif., to Toru and Sai Kato Shimizu. He married Junko Idehara, and they have four children. They are members of the Butler 1st Ward, Salt Lake Butler Stake. Pres. Shimizu is a high councilor and temple sealer. He has served as a stake mission president and missionary, a leader in Young Men, high priests group leader, bishop, president of the Japan Central Mission, district president, branch president, ward clerk, and missionary. He has been a partner with DBM Community Developers for 18 years and has been active in the community, including serving as a Salt Lake County commissioner for seven years.
Sister Shimizu was born in Nagoya, Japan, to Kinzo and Hagi Takeda Idehara. She is serving as a Boy Scout troop advancement chair. She has also served with her husband in Japan, and as a stake and ward Primary counselor, Relief Society board member and teacher, Sunday School teacher, stake missionary, Boy Scout troop committee chair, and a missionary. She has also been active on several civic and community boards and committees.