New Zealand, Ghana MTCs join Provo MTC in resuming onsite training of new missionaries

Three of the Church’s 10 missionary training centers worldwide are now training missionaries on site after the March 2020 closure of MTCs because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest to reopen for in-person training of full-time missionaries was the New Zealand Missionary Training Center, which welcomed 25 new missionaries on June 30.

The flagship Provo Missionary Training Center was the first to resume onsite training of new elders and sisters, beginning on June 23 with 248 new missionaries. The Ghana MTC had 48 new missionaries arrive for its reopening last week.

Sister Tina Dil, companion to New Zealand MTC President Lindsay Dil, helps an elder put on his missionary name tag for the first time on his arrival at the New Zealand Missionary Training Center in Auckland, New Zealand, on June 30, 2021.
Sister Tina Dil, companion to New Zealand MTC President Lindsay Dil, helps an elder put on his missionary name tag for the first time on his arrival at the New Zealand Missionary Training Center in Auckland, New Zealand, on June 30, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Also, three more missionary training centers — the Mexico, England and Philippines MTCs — have been cleared to resume in-person training in late July and August.

In Auckland, New Zealand, the 25 missionaries arriving at the MTC are all from New Zealand. Another 12 missionaries from Australia were scheduled to join them but were unable to do so because of recently imposed travel restrictions due to the pandemic; they will continue their training online.

Also, the New Zealand MTC will continue online training for other missionaries located in other parts of the South Pacific.

Ghana Missionary Training Center new missionaries preparing for intake processing and first devotional in Accra, Ghana, in late June 2021.
Ghana Missionary Training Center new missionaries preparing for intake processing and first devotional in Accra, Ghana, in late June 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In Accra, Ghana, 48 new missionaries came to the Ghana MTC from a host of African nations, including Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Uganda. Others from Eswatini and Namibia are expected in coming weeks.

All are English-speaking elders and sisters going to English-speaking missions. MTCs are anticipating to add training in additional languages in the near future.

More information on the New Zealand MTC and Ghana MTC reopenings is available at Newsroom’s New Zealand and Ghana sites.

Combining online, onsite training

Missionary training centers are implementing a new phased approach for training full-time missionaries, combining online and onsite instruction.

Closed to missionaries for the past 15 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MTCs worldwide became centers of virtual training, as new missionaries remained at home for instruction and language lessons via videoconferencing.

Missionaries arrive at the Provo Missionary Training Center for the first time in Provo on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 since COVID-19 closures in March 2020.
Missionaries arrive at the Provo Missionary Training Center for the first time in Provo on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 since COVID-19 closures in March 2020. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

This phased approach — with roughly a third of training online, even after MTCs return to full operations and capacities — will allow missionaries to continue to experience many of the positive elements of online instruction that have been realized during the pandemic period of training new missionaries.

The Provo MTC is starting out with missionaries who are from the United States, fully vaccinated and serving English-speaking assignments. Spanish and Portuguese will be the first languages added at yet-determined dates, with other languages to follow.