New Mission in Philippines, Missionaries in Botswana
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“New Mission in Philippines, Missionaries in Botswana,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 109–10

New Mission in Philippines, Missionaries in Botswana

Continued Church growth in the Philippines has brought the creation of a new mission—the third in that country this year—and the potential for growth has brought missionaries to Botswana, Africa.

Maps of South Africa and the Philippines

The Philippines Ilagan Mission was created on September 1, through a division of the Philippines Quezon City Mission. Just two months earlier, the new Philippines Tacloban and Philippines San Pablo missions had begun operations.

The Philippines Ilagan Mission will cover the less-populated northeastern section of the island of Luzon. There are more than nine thousand Latter-day Saints, in one stake and five districts, living in the new mission. The total population within its boundaries is nearly three million.

Reynaldo Ibanez Vergara, of the Bacalor Branch, Angeles Philippines Stake, has been called to preside over the new mission. He is a former mission president. His wife, Obdulia Yalung Navarro, has been a district Relief Society president and a teacher in the Relief Society and Sunday School.

The Philippines Quezon City Mission was created on 1 July 1989. It covers heavily populated areas near Manila; approximately 5.6 million people live within its boundaries. More than twelve thousand of them are Latter-day Saints, in four stakes and one district.

Meanwhile, in Botswana, missionary work began with the assignment of a missionary couple, Bruce and Patricia Midgley, from the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. Elder and Sister Midgley are currently working in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.

“We have been praying for seven years for the Church to come to us,” said Maurice Mzwinila at the first Church meeting held in Botswana.

Brother Mzwinila and his wife, Nosho, joined the Church eight years ago while he was studying electrical engineering in North Carolina. Sister Mzwinila’s sister, Beatrice Mphoeng, was living with them and joined, too. After Brother Mzwinila graduated, they returned to Botswana. The Mzwinilas are the parents of four children, and Brother Mzwinila holds the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Another Melchizedek Priesthood holder in the area is Anthony Mogare. Brother Mogare had joined the Church while studying at Utah State University in Logan.

President R. J. Snow of the Johannesburg mission said Brother Mzwinila and Brother Mogare will provide priesthood leadership with their families, and “will form the nucleus of an expanding group of Saints in Botswana.”

Botswana is in the center of the southern part of Africa. Approximately half of its more than one million people are Christians.

Elder Midgley is currently presiding over the Church unit in Gaborone.