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Missionary Training Centers to resume in person

Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints walk between buildings at the Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The church announced Wednesday that April's general conference sessions will be held virtually, some incoming missionaries will train remotely, and gatherings of multiple congregations in some areas will be postponed due to the spread of COVID-19. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

PROVO, Utah — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Monday they would be resuming the on-site training for new missionaries.

The phased-in switch back to in-person training at the Provo MTC will begin at the end of June along with MTCs in Ghana, and New Zealand.

The church said initially only missionaries from the United States who will not be learning a new language will receive their training on-site at the Provo MTC.

Then as conditions change and improve, the number of missionaries will also expand.

In Monday’s announcement, the Church said only missionaries who are fully vaccinated will be eligible to train at the Provo MTC< and they will need a negative COVID-19 test prior to arriving at an MTC.  Covid testing will be administered to anyone exhibiting symptoms during their training.

In April, the Church encouraged all missionaries and prospective missionaries to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The letter to local leaders stated that missionaries could safeguard themselves and others by becoming vaccinated.

It also said those heading to a mission in a different country would need to be vaccinated by Aug. 1. Those who choose not to receive required immunizations will be reassigned to a mission in their home country.

The gradual re-opening of three of the ten church MTCs comes at a time when coronavirus cases are declining as vaccinations increase.

They will invite a small number of missionaries to train on location. The Church says opening dates will be evaluated weekly and may be adjusted based on local circumstances and guidelines from local health officials.

They will contact missionaries and local leaders directly about an on-site MTC experience. Otherwise, new missionaries will continue with online training.

Church officials say over the past 14 months, more than 30,000 missionaries have done online training at home before heading out full-time. That online training originates from the Church’s 10 missionary training centers around the world.

You can hear some of those missionary experiences in our General Conference special from April, titled, Preaching in a Pandemic.

This story is breaking and will be updated.