***** This “article” ran on April 1, 2013. It was, and still is, an April Fool’s Joke. *****
April 1, 2013 – Ross Sea, Antarctica-The creation of the new McMurdo, Antarctica mission has been announced.
The new mission will extend from the Larsen Ice Shelf to the Ross Ice Shelf, and cover all settlements in between. The language of the mission will be Emperor Penguin.
“We are confident that this new mission will be a blessing to the many faithful Antarcticans in this and surrounding areas which have had to travel long distances,” said the announcement letter to local leaders. “The fields of Antarctica are most certainly white and ready for harvest.”
Antarctica is home to 1,000 people in winter to about 5,000 in the summer, and 80,000 emperor penguins. Previously residents of the continent were served by an orthodox church at the Russian Bellingshausen Station. It was manned year-round by one or two priests, who were rotated every year.
Missionaries called to the mission will attend the MTC in parkas. This brings the number of missions in Antarctica to one. This will be the southernmost mission of the church.