Lynn and Sherry Whyte have lived in the greater Richmond area for the past 25 years, but left their home and family in January 2017 for an 18 month mission. They moved to South Africa and, paying their own way, served The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They helped with various legal matters and mission applications during the week and got to know local members by attending local church services on Sundays. Lynn said of their missionary service “It was a great experience. I would highly, highly recommend any kind of a mission for anybody.”
The Whyte family has lived in many places over the years, most notably Ankara, Turkey while Lynn worked with the Air Force, although his work never took them to Africa. As a retired lawyer, he used his knowledge of law to help the Church with legal matters such as contracts associated with drilling wells and other humanitarian projects, papers required for the Church to operate in the countries, and leases for buildings and apartments. They both worked in the Africa Southeast Area office located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Area covers 34 countries in Africa, and the Church has a presence in 26 of them. Sherry is a retired nurse and, while unable to directly use her nursing skills, found plenty of work do in the Area office. The Africa Southeast Area is the second fastest growing Area of the Church in the world. Sherry helped process 1,100 missionary applications submitted by African members throughout the Area.
The Area office was located near the Johannesburg Temple, and members came from many countries to be sealed together as families. Lynn and Sherry would sometimes help care for children of these families; they would play games with them, feed them snacks, and help prepare them for when it was time to join their parents in the temple. At times this was challenging, because the children rarely spoke English, but as Lynn put it “I don’t speak Zulu, but I do speak Lego”.
For more information about Senior Missionary Service, visit https://seniormissionary.lds.org
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In the Richmond area there are 29 congregations of Latter-day Saints. We strive to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and spread His light in our community.
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