On Wednesday, 30 June 2021, for the first time in 15 months, a group of new missionaries arrived at the New Zealand Missionary Training Centre (MTC) in Auckland, to start in-person training.
These 25 new missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all from New Zealand, have already done a week of online MTC at home prior to coming.
Twelve other missionaries who planned to come to the MTC from Australia were not able to do so, due to recently imposed travel restrictions caused by COVID-19.
The Australian missionaries will be welcomed whenever it is possible for them to travel. In the meantime, they will continue online training.
The teaching staff at the New Zealand MTC will continue to run online classes for other new missionaries in other parts of the South Pacific, whilst the New Zealand group trains onsite.
Elder Mosiah Kaitu’u, from the Auckland suburb of Mangere, was the first to arrive at the centre. Asked why he came so early, he said, “I was too excited, I couldn’t sleep!”
Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Elder Kaitu’u came to New Zealand two years ago to study and to “look after his nan.”
After a year of study, living with his grandmother, he had the desire to go on a mission. He started working to save money but COVID-19 slowed his plans. He eventually received his mission call, assigned to his hometown, Brisbane.
His grandmother encouraged him with loving support, “but didn’t push too much,” he says.
“I came to look after her, but she’s the one who helped me spiritually.”
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