‘Mormon Land’: She worked on the Mars rover. He served in the Navy. Now these two Black converts lead an LDS mission.

The couple watched the Perseverance landing on Zoom with their missionaries, who are proselytizing in new ways amid the pandemic.

(Photo courtesy of Michelle Amos) John and Michelle Amos oversee the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Michelle and John Amos are both converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both are graduates of Southern University, a historic Black college. And both are high-powered engineers.

Michelle worked for NASA for 30 years, including as part of the team that developed the Mars 2020 rover. Her husband, John, after a 21-year career with the Navy and Navy Reserve, became an engineering director at the global company Siemens Energy.

Now the Amoses are overseeing more than 200 young Latter-day Saints as they lead the church’s Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission.

During this last week of Black History Month, the couple talk about their conversion (she was Baptist; he was Catholic) their careers (including last week’s thrilling Mars landing of the Perseverance rover) their mission (and the challenges of guiding young Latter-day Saints during a pandemic) and their perspectives about racial issues in their faith (especially since they grew up in the South).

Listen here: