Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Transfers #7-Arriving Missionaries

On a bright but chilly Wednesday, 361 new missionaries were scheduled to arrive at the Provo MTC.  Some traveling
alone came in early on international or domestic flights, shuttled in from the Salt Lake International Airport. Others arrive by car with missionaries scheduled alphabetically by last name. Vehicles lined up 25 at a time in two queues from the 900 East entrance, directed to the campus' south end.

Each carload is given several minutes to unload the missionary, snap a photo and say a last goodbye. The MTC accommodates 100 cars every 15 minutes — but could handle as many as 600 on a single Wednesday.
Greeting each arriving missionary is a pair of "host" missionaries, themselves having arrived only weeks earlier.
As host missionaries,  they remind new arrivals of the rules upon entering: leave your personal keys and cell phones with your family, bring your updated list of immunizations, and don't forget your luggage.
Moms and sisters leaned out open windows to shout a final farewell as their cars drove off and their missionaries walked the opposite direction. "No cryin', Mom," a new elder will shout back.
The hosts then accompanied the new missionaries to the administration building, taking their luggage to the exit and waiting for them to complete the initial processing.
Assisted by scores of volunteers at the check-in, newcomers confirm their identities and assignments; have their photo taken; receive a packet containing their name tag, room key and other information; collect a padlock for a secure drawer; and acknowledge they have previously attended an LDS temple, and possess a church-issued ministerial certificate.
New missionaries also receive a blue electronic card that is used to enter the cafeteria or to log onto MTC computers to write home. The card also carries monetary credit: elders receive $6 a week and sisters $8 to pay for laundry, haircuts, extra supplies, bookstore purchases and vending.
New arrivals receive a red-dot sticker on their name tags, so faculty, staff or tenured missionaries can offer to help if they spot a bewildered "red-dotted" missionary.
After the processing, host missionaries deliver the new elders and luggage to their residence rooms, where they are paired up with a companion. Then it's on to classrooms to meet teachers, followed by an orientation session with the MTC presidency and their wives.
The rest of the day is given to dinner, unpacking and then returning to the classroom for the first of many sessions — three weeks for English or native-language missionaries and eight to 12 weeks for those learning a new language.
Upon concluding their MTC tenure, they'll depart for their assigned missions — in airport-destined groups as small as a solo missionary to as large as 160 at time, bound for their missions.
Usually 300 or so missionaries depart the MTC weekly, altough more leave in the summer months when MTC attendance is higher.
A weekly average of 45 to 55 groups leave the MTC. 
MTC buses make between 15 to 20 trips a week; some days, several buses make three runs each.
Here are our English Speaking missionaries arriving to their mission...The Texas Fort Worth Mission...where the worth of souls is great!! We wanted to welcome our Spanish missionaries as well but they arrived from the Mexico MTC at a different terminal near the same time where the assistants were there to welcome them.

After we welcome and load up the trailer with suitcases (gotta love the hot pink ones) we drive to the church for a quick lunch, orientation, photo to send home to let parents know they made it, training and some tracting, then meet back at the mission home for a welcome to texas barb-e-que dinner.

The entire group-English and Spanish speaking...
Another AWESOME group of missionaries~!
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured". President Hinkley