South Africa Missionary Training Centre Open House
By Sister Karen Belliston
- Guests were taught about the Church, its belief in Jesus Christ, and its missionary effort. They also learned about the many Church programs which strengthen members in their knowledge of Christ.
To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the South Africa Missionary Training Centre, an open house was held Saturday, July 20, 2013, hosted by MTC President Kenneth Reber and Sister Janet Reber.
The English-speaking MTC opened its doors July 24, 2003. It provides living quarters for 38 young missionaries along with a friendly entry foyer, a glass-domed study court, several classrooms, a cafeteria, and a laundry room. The walls are adorned with maps, pictures of past mission presidents, “before and after” pictures of the young missionaries, and religious paintings. Two world maps depict where each missionary is from and where each missionary is going. New missionaries enter the MTC every two weeks.
The singing of birds and of MTC elders greeted the guests as they arrived Saturday morning. Visitors representing churches, governments, and various organizations, as well as the general public, were shown through the MTC by elders currently serving missions throughout Africa. Guests were taught about the Church, its belief in Jesus Christ, and its missionary effort. They also learned about the many Church programs which strengthen members in their knowledge of Christ.
As guests left the MTC building, President S. Craig Omer and Sister Catherine Omer, South Africa Johannesburg Mission, greeted them outdoors. There the Church's Humanitarian program and ideas for Emergency Preparedness were displayed and explained by senior missionaries.
Visitors were then greeted by Soweto Stake President Thabo Lebethoa at the Roodepoort Institute of Religion where classes and activities for students are held. Local Church members explained the Institute program and showed guests the tools used for instruction: manuals, DVDs, the Old and New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. Pamphlets were available for guests to take home. Temple marriage was highlighted in another room as two young coupes--dressed in wedding apparel--explained our doctrine of eternal marriage.
Next, guests visited the Roodepoort chapel. Attractive displays were exhibited in each classroom including Family History, Priesthood, and the auxiliaries of the Church--Relief Society, Young Women, Young Men, and Primary. Senior missionaries as well as local Church members were on hand to visit with the guests and answer questions. Mark Mocke, director of the MTC, expanded the tour to include the life of a missionary after his mission: being released by his stake president, meeting with his bishop, attending Institute, gaining an education, marrying in the temple, providing a loving home for his family, and serving in the Church and community.
Finally, guests entered the cultural hall where they enjoyed a light lunch and were entertained by a women's trio—Gloria Zulu and her two daughters, Brenda and Sharon—who sang a tribute to Africa and the Johannesburg mission song. From the first of the tour to the last bite of frosted cupcake, all of the 529 visitors were edified.