The first four missionaries in the history of the Church to be called to serve a fulltime mission left their home branch of Conakry, Guinea and arrived April 26 at the Accra Ghana Missionary Training Center (“MTC.) Elders Pepe Aime Victor Dore, Emile Junior Dore (brothers), Charles-Alain Kpogomou and Sister Rachel Kpogomou (brother and sister) will enter their assigned missions in Lagos, Nigeria, Benin City, Nigeria, and Kumasi, Ghana upon completion of their training in the MTC.
These faithful Latter-day Saints served as a Young Men President, Sunday School First Counselor, Branch Mission Leader and Branch Music Director before entering their service as full-time missionaries.
These siblings glowed with common faith and excitement as they entered the MTC. Elder Pepe Dore and his mother joined the Church in Ivory Coast before moving to Guinea after the death of his father in 2004. “We waited for 10 years before we found other members of the Church to pray together in their home,” said Elder Dore. He shared the gospel with his other siblings who became interested, such that his younger brother (Elder Emile Dore) was baptized in 2006. “I never doubted when the Church was introduced to me, I knew it was true, I did not hesitate to accept the Gospel and be baptized.” Elder Emile Dore testified.
The Kpogomous, hosted the group of members in their home, in Conakry, Guinea. The father of Elder and Sister Kpogomou was a professor and lecturer who joined the Church in Paris, France. Of their family of nine (9), four (4) joined the Church and are active. Brother Kpogomou led the group in his home as activities were overseen by the Africa West Area Presidency as part the Africa West Area Branch, said Elder Vinson.
Their zeal for the gospel led Africa West Area President, Elder Vinson, to visit the group to assess their readiness to receive priesthood ordinations and establish a branch of the Church. Later, in his review of the Africa West Area with the Area Presidency in May 2017, Elder David A. Bednar met with Church leaders and members in Guinea. Upon his return to Salt Lake City and after meeting with the Council of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles, Elder Bednar called Elder Vinson with the news that establishing an official presence of the Church in Conakry was approved. The Conakry Guinea Branch was created in June 2017 under the direction of Elder Vinson, and Brother Kpogomou was called as the Branch President.
Elders Dore and Elder and Sister Kpogomou prepared spiritually to serve through daily scripture study and attending missionary preparation class after Sunday service (taught by a returned missionary who hails from Liberia). They bore powerful testimonies about the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ, the Restored Gospel, and their desire to serve the Lord as His missionaries.
Like all new missionaries, they were nervous about the future challenges and requirements of fulltime missionaries, including working with companions, understanding new cultures, and discerning the needs of those they were called to teach and serve. They were reminded by those present with greater experience to take courage, love those they are called to teach, and to freely share their testimonies about exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.