Church announces Guatemala MTC closure

A group of missionaries pose for a photo at the Guatemala MTC in 2016. (Lexus Becraft)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the closure of the Guatemala Missionary Training Center, effective Jan. 2020, in a press release dated Thursday, Sept. 19.

The press release stated that the decision was made after church leaders determined that worldwide resources could be better utilized by transferring the training that takes place in the Guatemala MTC to the Mexico MTC.

“This decision comes as part of a long process of learning, planning and determining the best use of resources worldwide according to the needs and demands of each area,” Church Media Relations Manager Daniel Woodruff said in a statement.

The future uses of Guatemala MTC facility will be determined by and in coordination with local leaders to maximize resources, according to Woodruff.

For some returned missionaries, the announcement hit especially close to home.

“I am deeply saddened they will be closing down the Guatemala MTC because that is one place I hold so many memories and what was the beginning of what will change my life forever,” said Lexus Becraft, who served a mission in Honduras from Jan. 2015 to July 2017. 

Lexus Becraft stands beside the Guatemala MTC in early 2016. After her time at the MTC, she served a mission in Honduras. (Lexus Becraft)

Despite her personal feelings about the closure, Becraft said her overall reaction to the closure is positive.

“I know that it’s God’s plan for bigger and better things,” she said.

The closing of the Guatemala MTC comes after a recent trend, with the MTCs in Spain, Chile, Argentina and the Dominican Republic all closing for similar reasons.

Excluding the MTCs that have already closed, there are 10 remaining open MTCs throughout the world in Brazil, New Zealand, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Ghana, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa and Provo.

Lexus Becraft (right) with her companions Annica Berry (left) and Anna Rowley (center) at the Guatemala MTC in 2016. (Lexus Becraft)
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