News Story

Samoa Bound Missionaries Experience Virtual Missionary Training Center 

Coming from two different states of Australia, Elder Folauga Nua and Elder Jordan Luki became ‘virtual’ missionary companions on 17th March as they began their online training in preparation for their fulltime missions in Samoa, Apia Mission.

Elder Nua expressed, “It feels as if we’re there at the Missionary Training Centre (MTC) in person, learning and growing together.” Elder Luki followed, “Hopefully in time we will be missionary companions in the mission field.”

Samoan bound missionaries experience virtual Missionary Training Center at their homes in Australia, March 2020. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elder Luki shared that he always wanted to go to America, and going to MTC was his ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to be there. As such, he was devastated when he learnt, four days before his departure date, that the trip was cancelled due to restrictions on international travel. Nonetheless, he said, “I have been called to the work and I am grateful. I stay focused by remembering that I have been given a sacred duty by the power and authority of God to act in the Saviour’s name to help gather Israel. I feel the companionship of the Spirit with me all the time.”

Similarly, Elder Nua recounted that he was “gutted” when he found out that he would not be attending the MTC in person. However, his feelings changed after he finished his first online class and met Elder Luki. He expressed, “I love the online MTC! I have enjoyed all the classes so far. I am not bothered at all by the fact that the training is being done at home. Everyone in the District (group of missionaries) is just as keen as I am. What is the difference except that we’re not together physically? What a great blessing modern-day technology is!”

Both Elder Luki and Elder Nua acknowledged that there are distractions at home. A missionary who recently completed the MTC training in person reportedly told Elder Nua that he would find online training very challenging. Of this, Elder Nua commented, “It just says a lot about the faith we have in the Gospel, because where there is a will, there is a way.” He said that what he does at home now is very different and he has stopped a lot of hobbies he used to enjoy. He shared, “It’s hard, but I know if I don’t stop now it will likely continue into the mission field and that won’t be good at all." Elder Nua expressed confidence that he would be blessed as he followed the guidelines.  

Elder Luki and Elder Nua are due to arrive in Samoa on 27th April 2020, depending on travel restrictions by that date. Elder Luki recounted that his family was “completely shocked with joy," because his “Nana” comes from Samoa and she feels so blessed that he can learn her language and serve among her family. Elder Nua’s family, too, shouted for joy when he received his call. However, he admitted that he was not expecting to be called to Samoa, because that is his own country. He light-heartedly remarked, “It looks like I have to perfect my not-so-good Samoan.”

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