When Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the new missionary training center that stands near the Manila Philippines Temple, he was a witness of and a participant in the ongoing growth of the Church in this nation of islands in the western Pacific Ocean.
The Philippines Missionary Training Center, which Elder Nelson dedicated on May 20, 2012, can house up to 144 missionaries from the Philippines, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. These “locally grown” missionaries are trained in the languages of their home countries.
In offering the prayer to dedicate the new facility, Elder Nelson expressed gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and for faithful missionaries and Church members worldwide who love and serve the Lord. He asked for a blessing upon the Republic of the Philippines that it will “maintain open doors of welcome” to all the Lord’s servants and that the nation’s people will be blessed with “freedom and accountability to grow in righteousness, both temporally and spiritually.”
The new center has two buildings. The first houses state-of-the-art training facilities, including an auditorium—the Joseph Smith Hall. Also in the building are translation booths, a computer lab, a laundry area, teaching rooms with built-in audiovisual equipment, and sleeping quarters for the missionaries. The second building houses additional teaching rooms and the offices of the MTC’s presidency and director.
Elder Nelson shook hands with all the missionaries at the MTC. He also met with and shook the hands of missionaries in the Philippines Manila Mission on May 22, the Philippines Cebu Mission on May 23, and the Philippines Angeles Mission on May 25. It was, he said, “a real pleasure” to personally greet each one. He addressed each gathering of missionaries.
Elder Nelson returned to Salt Lake City on May 27. In a conversation with the Church News in his office, he spoke of the missionaries he met at the new MTC and throughout the Philippines. “It is a thrill to see these enthusiastic, intelligent, highly focused missionaries,” he said.
For more on Elder Nelson’s visit to the Philippines, please visit news.lds.org.