Saturday, May 26, 2012

MTC Experiences
Missionary Training Center

Arriving at the MTC as Senior Missionaries is not the same experience as when you drop off a son or a daughter!  It is fun, joyful and full of anticipation.  No tears or fears!

The famous map where every missionary has their picture taken!  
We met many senior couples on Monday and throughout the week.  (We actually arrived there on April 23 through the 27th, but it has taken us this long to get to our blog!) There were over 70 in our group that week:  about 8 couples learning a foreign language in addition to the Preach My Gospel instruction.  Some were headed to mission offices, some to Church sites, some as medical personnel, some as public affairs missionaries, and others to do humanitarian work.  Most of us are assigned to work as member and leadership support.

This is our district - the couples we studied with every day.  The couple here is going to
Hanoi, Vietnam.   The young guy is our afternoon teacher.
The couple on the left are going to Hawaii and the one on the right to Germany.
Here we are again with our district and our afternoon teachers.
Our daily schedule included large group training on teaching people, not lessons.  We broke out into smaller groups of 4 couples where we studied principles, practiced, and taught "investigators" (volunteers from the community) in a simulated setting.  Though one felt a little nervous at first, these experiences were actually kind of fun teaching the things that mean so much to you in your life.  You could get feedback from our teacher who had watched over closed circuit camera, as well as sense yourself the things you would have done differently to be more effective. 

The cafeteria doors have just opened and the herd presses forward!
In addition we had 3 square meals a day at the MTC cafeteria which any missionary will tell you is an experience in and of itself:  many meal choices offered and mostly geared towards 19 year old boys!  We tried to take many brisk walks in between meetings to burn some of those calories we were eating!
The MTC Post Office

In the MTC Bookstore
Tuesday evening we had a devotional where we heard from Elder and Sister Russell M. Nelson.  It was so amazing to be there gathered together with all the missionaries old and young, all coming from and heading to palces all over the world, and sing "Called to Serve".

Scenes on the MTC grounds

In the evenings on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday those of us with languages to learn had two hours with our tutors.  Then you tried to do a little preparation homework for the next day and fell into bed exhausted by 9:45 to wake up by 6 am and start again.  By Friday night we had a closing testimony meeting with us giving our testimonies in our languages.  We had written them down in English the week before, our tutors had translated them, and then we had worked to learn them.  Most of us read them (too nervous to pronounce and also remember them), but a few including Elder Mills had memorized theirs!

This was just part of the 70+ couples at the MTC that week.

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