We didn't know what to expect as we entered the MTC. We were filled with much anticipation,excitement, curiosity and joy! The happiness that we were feeling is hard to explain. Maybe it comes from the fact that we had heard so many amazing things about the MTC. Or maybe it was the fact that we had dropped two sons off at the MTC, or maybe it was all of the above (not to mention Rodney had attended there himself, just 27 yrs ago) Our original plan was to get all the kids to drop us off and then cry, or rather sob as we waved good-bye. But my son had a good point in his remark, "uh, mom you know you are only there for 5 day, where we were going to be gone for like 2 yrs". So we stayed the night before at the Marriott, ate a complimentary breakfast, and drove ourselves. It was a neat experience....
|Called to serve!!|
|Hello there President Ames|
|There was a special broadcast held, Sunday June 23rd, at the Marriott Center @ Brigham Young University. It was historic and we have to say, we loved our seats.|
|This was the choir, it was full of missionaries and other volunteers, including 3 of our children....Alex, our daughter in law Chelsea and Isaac! Alex and Isaac would be the ones in the dark suits and tie, Chelsea is the one wearing the pretty blue blouse. They sounded amazing!|
|SO MTC- It turned us inside out. Physically, Spiritually, Mentally and even Socially. It was intense. The first day was comparable to school orientation, you visit an area and wait your turn, give them your name and they give you the info that you need, etc even took out picture. It was so organized and each station even had treats and snacks. (The chocolate milk was amazing) While we sat and waited our turn, we would visit with all the other couples- and that was nice. At first it was kind of awkward, and we were like shy school kids on a playground. Some of the couples looked traumatized, some terrified and some ignorantly bliss- then you had the ones who looked like they knew exactly what they were doing, looking confident and fearless. But it didn't take long for us to start talking with other couples, and becoming fast friends, gaining strength from their faith and testimonies. It didn't take long to realize all the many sacrifices made by these couple. It was so inspiring to look around and see how many gave us so much of their worldly desires, how so many gave up professions, spending time with families, children and grandchildren, all from a phone call to serve, based on the conviction of what they knew to be true. They were true to themselves. I couldn't help but think of the saying...."To thine own self be true". |
After orientation, we had lunch, checked into the Marriott (MTC was booked) and got ready for the next day. All of the twelve and their spouses happened to be staying at the same Marriott as us and so it was really neat to visit with them in the foyer, elevators, and parking lot. The next day was Sunday and we got to sit up on the front row where President Monson spoke to us and he spoke with so much power! It was truly inspiring. The missionaries blessed and passed the sacrament, and some missionaries sang to us-
It was so awesome. One evening we were divided up into 12 groups and each group got to eat dinner with an apostle. We got to eat with Elder Hale and his wife and hear some thoughts from them. The last night each President and their wife got to actually spend a couple of hours with our missionaries that were serving in the MTC at the same time, getting ready to head out the next week! We had 27 at the MTC! When we first walked into the classroom, and saw all 27 missionaries, I just broke out in a "Howdy Y'all"! That pretty much broke the ice, because they were all standing "attention like" like soldiers getting ready to salute- like what you would see at a military camp, so respectful! But after my spastic entrance, they seemed "at ease" ha and then once we greeted them all, and had them introduce themselves, we just let them ask us any questions that they wanted. They were so AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL! They were SO happy, confident and so sure of who they were, what they were doing. No fear just confidence and faith. At the end, one of the Elder's asked if they could each take a minute and bear their testimony to us....President Ames said, "Absolutely! So because of the time, you have one minute and if that's not enough you have 60 seconds." ;-) Their testimonies were so mature and confident. Needless to say, Rodney and I were on a high for the rest of the night and it was truly one of my most favorite memories of the MTC.
Overall, we left the MTC feeling empowered and ready to hit the ground running!
Note to those who are not members of our faith:
Learn a little about the Missionary Training Center
Missionary Training Centers (MTCs) are centers devoted to training missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).
At the beginning of their service, LDS missionaries usually spend 3–12 weeks at an MTC where they receive training in doctrine, conduct, proselytizing methods, and, when required, a foreign language. There are a total of 15 MTCs in nations throughout the world, in locations in addition to Provo, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa,Spain, and the United Kingdom.
New missionaries assigned to the Provo MTC arrive Monday–Wednesday (couple missionaries on Monday, international arrivals on Tuesday, U.S. and Canada on Wednesday), at which point they begin using their titles of "Elder" (for the men) and "Sister" (for the women). They are assigned companions and organized into districts and branches. During their training, the elders and sisters will spend the majority of their time in class, with breaks for meals, church services, temple attendance, fitness activities, service projects, and personal preparation time (for laundry, letter writing, etc.).
Missionaries have historically been given at least three weeks of training in proselytizing methods. This includes lessons on church doctrine and teaching, mission rules, and proper interactions with the people they will serve, teach, and work with in their assigned missions. Missionaries are also encouraged to use their time outside class to actively study church scripture and doctrine, and a language if necessary.
In many cases, missionaries who already speak the language of their assigned area are sent to their mission after just three weeks. Other missionaries may spend as many as nine additional weeks in language training. The Missionary Training Center language programs encourage a full immersion experience with the motto "SYL" for "Speak Your Language". In some cases, missionaries learning foreign languages go directly to the MTC in the country where they are called to serve. This depends on the capacity of the MTC in the area.
Each MTC is directed by a mission president, just like each of the 405 missions worldwide (this number can change frequently). Classes in the MTC are typically taught by returned (former) missionaries. The missionaries are also assigned to small congregations called branches, which are led by local church members called to serve in the MTC.
The facility includes a large gymnasium, cafeterias, a medical clinic, a bookstore, a mail center, laundry facilities, classrooms, and residence halls. A day at the MTC can involve many different activities, including visiting the cafeteria, enjoying some exercise in the gym, and engaging in personal study. Missionaries spend much of their time in classroom activities.
Although the MTC has excellent facilities and an outstanding training curriculum, missionaries feel that the spirit of the MTC is their best learning and teaching aid. The MTC experience is the fulfillment of a life-long dream for many missionaries, and yet they anxiously await the day when they will depart to their assigned missions. After weeks of training, missionaries leave prepared to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people around the world.