President and Sister Christensen Reflect on Experiences as South Africa MTC President and Wife
Africa and her people have certainly left footprints on our hearts. We will never be quite the same again. We will reflect on this wonderful experience for many years to come. We’ll remember, with fondness, the 766 missionaries we were blessed to know and share time with.
We will think on the many challenges the Africans were faced with when they listened to the missionaries and embraced the gospel. Some were disowned by parents, many were ostracized by friends, but they persevered and stood strong in spite of all the opposition. They found a new “family” and new friends and a different lifestyle that brought them a peace they had never known before. Their lives were forever changed and they were so anxious and willing to share that new found happiness with others.
We watched missionaries come from all over the world and find “brothers” and “sisters” here in the MTC that they will never forget. Relationships they will treasure for a lifetime as they learned to love and respect each other’s culture, background, and tradition.
We will never forget the time we spent in the temple with many of the African Elders as they received their own endowments and then to be able to also do the endowments for their parents and grandparents and witness the sealing of them to each other. Several African missionaries were also sealed to their parents and it was a very sweet experience not only for them, but for the rest of us as well.
We came to recognize and appreciate all that goes into helping a young man or woman make choices in their lives that lead to his/her becoming a missionary. The love, example, encouragement, and teaching of parents, family, leaders, friends, Bishops, Branch Presidents, Stake Presidents, and others. Then as they enter the MTC to have wonderful teachers, to have the love and support and wisdom of a tremendous Area Presidency and Seventy, to enjoy the helping hand of so many amazing temple workers and senior couples, as well as those dear family history people who come to the MTC and help the missionaries trace their ancestry so they can do the work for many of them while they are here.
Most of all, we feel a deep gratitude to our Father in Heaven for giving us the opportunity to serve here in the South Africa MTC. We look back and recognize how our testimonies were strengthened, our knowledge of the gospel enhanced, and our love for the Savior grew even deeper.
We felt the Lord’s helping hand every day as we tried to be an influence for good and a righteous example to the missionaries. He guided and inspired us as we taught them and tried to help them focus on what matters most.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Joseph Smith is the Prophet who restored it back to the earth in these latter days. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and goes hand in hand with the Bible. Thomas S. Monson is a living Prophet who, under the Father’s direction, teaches and guides us today. For this we will ever be grateful.