Former Bloomington Stake President Hal and recently released Southgate Stake Young Women President Julie Anderson, enter the MTC in Provo on June 24, before flying halfway around the world to report on July 1, 2017 for three years of service as President of the Adriatic South Mission.
Life is full of many twists and turns … something President Hal and Julie Anderson have learned first hand in the past several weeks, particularly when it comes to their mission call, originally to serve as President of the Baltic Mission. In the middle of April a few months into their preparations – the Andersons were notified their call had been changed and they would now be serving as President of the Russia St. Petersburg Mission. The couple first called to preside over this mission is from the Ukraine, and, as such the Russian government would not issue them a visa. Because of this, the couple was reassigned to the Baltic Mission where their Russian language would be very valuable.
President and Sister Anderson felt good about their new assignment – since both had heavy winter coats – but then, because the former Bloomington Stake President had served in the U. S. military during which time he had been issued High Level Security Clearance, the Missionary Executive Council decided the Russian government would likely not issue a visa to the Andersons either and if they did, the government would make it difficult for the Andersons to accomplish their missionary labors.
By the end of April the Andersons were once again reassigned to preside over the Adriatic South Mission (including the countries of Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia). The Latvian language they have been learning for the past several months has now been replaced by Albanian – which they are trying their best to learn at an accelerated pace.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still very much in its infancy in this part of the world. Kosovo and Macedonia (the first part of Europe in which the apostle Paul preached the gospel [Acts 20:1-2]) have barely three branches between them, although Albania has 2888 members in 12 branches. Currently, the missionaries have been busy translating the Book of Mormon into Macedonian as the Church has not yet completed this translation. In fact, the Macedonian language is not taught in the MTC at this time so missionaries called to this country are taught Bulgarian in the MTC and then must learn Macedonian in country.
In preparation for their adventure, the parents of six and grandparents to 13 have been busy shopping for cold winters and warm, humid summer weather; spending countless hours in online training, Skype sessions with mission leaders, being tutored mostly in Albanian and have sold their home.
“We are very, very, very excited, but overwhelmed at the same time,” states Julie Anderson of the call, which came from President Henry B. Eyring. The thoughts of our responsibilities,including keeping track of 70 young missionaries and four senior couples, is consuming us.”
These dynamic and spiritual members of the B7 Ward will be missed! We wish them love, safety and godspeed.