News Story

Mormon Leaders Direct Mission Efforts in Canada

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has called two new mission presidents to serve in Canada together with their spouses. Effective 1 July 2014, Ronald P. Burt began leading the Canada Vancouver Mission and William Weatherford Clayton assumed responsibilities for the Canada Toronto Mission.

Ronald P. Burt, 56, from Bountiful, Utah, and his wife, Leslie K. Burt, now preside over the Canada Vancouver Mission. They are succeeding Karl M. and Holly B. Tilleman. He is co-owner of Burt Brothers Tire & Service. The Burts have four children and were both born in Salt Lake City. He previously served as a missionary in the Canada Calgary Mission.

William Weatherford T. Clayton, 61, and his wife, Lisa Thomas Clayton, will lead the Canada Toronto Mission succeeding Brent L. and Anne Scott. He is an obstetrical hospitalist for OB Hospitalist Group and a former missionary in the Canada Montreal Mission. The Claytons are from Salt Lake City, Utah, and have five children.

Before reporting to their new assignments, both couples completed training at the missionary training center in Provo, Utah. They will be responsible for 130 to 200 young men and women from 18 to 26 years of age.

In general, mission presidents are called to serve for a term of three years. This allows the Church to rotate through one-third of their total missions each year. Many missionaries enjoy the blessing of serving under two different mission presidents, while others serve under the same president for their full mission.

Mission presidents share a variety of responsibilities in their service. They instruct missionaries to effectively teach gospel principles as well as to maintain their individual health. In addition, the president assumes responsibility for the baptism of new converts and their initial development as new members of the Church.

On a day-to-day basis the supervising couples not only oversee the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of their own families, but also assume responsibility for each of the missionaries assigned to their area. For example, individual missionaries arrive and depart at approximately six-week intervals, as they begin or conclude their period of service. Each missionary is personally attended to, orientated to the mission environment and then assigned to a companion.

There are now 406 missions around the world, with over 83,000 missionaries serving worldwide. In Canada there are seven missions, including offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

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