Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Week 1: MTC

This is our attempt to describe the beginning of our missionary experiences starting at the MTC on the 5th of February, 2018. We arrived mid-morning and passed through the guard gates and followed a whole line of cars dropping off couples just like us. Young missionaries were scurrying around giving directions and we parked the van and went inside the foyer and were given our name tags then to another desk and got an instruction packet, next to a travel desk and got a check for our travel to Jacksonville and finally to another desk where they gave us a card which would give us entry into all the buildings, rooms, elevators, etc. We located our room for the next two weeks, deposited our luggage and then went to the main building (S1) where we met our Branch President, President Gines and he welcomed us and let us know his role in our stay at the MTC. We were assigned to District "K" and I was asked to be a District Leader. For the rest of the first week we attended classes all morning and afternoon studying and being taught our role as missionaries and using Preach My Gospel. We learned how to teach and were assigned a couple that we would teach 2 different lessons. We also had the opportunity to teach a member from the community who came each Friday to be taught a lesson. Our first teaching opportunity was kind of intimidating, but the second was better and the third enjoyable. Monday night we attended a Family Home Evening for the Senior missionaries (about 100) and Tuesday evening a weekly MTC devotional where we heard from Elder Benjamin Hoyos of the seventy and his wife. We really have enjoyed the associations of other senior missionaries and those in our district quickly became fast friends as did our teaching couple. The first week seemed to go so slowly and all of a sudden it was over. Saturday we did laundry at Erin's and a little shopping and a trip to the Provo Temple which we enjoyed very much. Sunday was special with a sacrament meeting with the senior missionaries, followed by a Sunday school type Gospel Discussion and then priesthood and relief society meetings. We attended a "Match the Message" meeting, the men together and the women together and it seemed to me that it was the first time the MTC presidency had a chance to meet all the new missionaries who arrived the previous Wednesday and went over rules, procedures, and expectations. Later we attended a devotional for missionaries who were leaving the MTC the following day. That was really nice and charged up the missionaries for their departure. Finally another devotional in the evening where one of the District President's and wife spoke and were very, very good. We've had a great first week and the food is good and plentiful and the friendships we've made wonderful. If only the bed was a little softer!

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